‘New Wave’ 3D Printing Tech Could Change Manufacturing Jobs

 

Jul 17, 2017

Business Insider is reporting that the former CEO of Autodesk – Carl Bass – has joined the board of directors of a company that allegedly wants to bring the Amazon business model to 3D printing.

The company is called Formlabs, and Business Insider says it is “...on the vanguard of a new wave of 3D printing” – one which focuses less on consumers, and more on helping businesses rethink manufacturing. Formed in 2011, Formlabs is said to be looking to reinvent both manufacturing, and manufacturing jobs.

The company’s competitive advantage may be in its newest model of 3D printer, which it dubs the Fuse 1. Fuse 1 is designed to be an industrial benchtop product and, at about $10,000, it’s competitive with other printers in its range, but said to be far more accurate.

In a promotional video on the Formlabs website, the company says it’s time to get back to making things where they’re designed and to “bring back the human touch.” For relatively small, precision parts created in photopolymer – such as, says Business Insider, bike helmets, shoes, or electronic gadgets – this printer could be a game changer and could keep production of custom or replacement items local, rather than outsourcing them overseas.

Back to Amazon – Formlabs CEO Max Lobovsky was inspired by the way Amazon Web Services gave developers affordable access to the cloud in order to build their software. Formlabs, likewise, wants to shrink the supply chain and create the same business opportunity for those who create physical goods.