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- Something new is coming to 3DPrinting.org. A new focus on education and placing a 3D Printer in every school that wants one. Stay tuned!
Out of all 3D printing opportunities, the basic idea of manufacturing in 3D printing is one of the most world-changing aspects to the technology. And the fact that manufacturing can be done in the home before long to make products is all the more enticing to those who've long wanted to start a business from home. If you've ever had a dream of selling 3D-printed products through a major chain, you might see that day with Amazon.com getting into the 3D printing fray.
Recently, they announced a partnership with a company called Sculpteo that will sell 3D-designed products instantly sent to your 3D printer (or by mail). The dream of instantly sending something to your 3D printer and letting you print it out for use the same day certainly isn't new. We've discussed that before here and how it could end up eliminating shipping and handling charges (which could lead to other challenges for stores).
Right now, though, 3D-printed items are a niche category for only specific items. This isn't to say Sculpteo won't be very successful at selling items since all of them are highly useful products. Everything from iPhone covers to rings are available there, some of which are already being made by many who own 3D printers in their homes.
Regardless, how does this affect career opportunity? Sculpteo is already known for their great customer service, though they also have a bank of designers who create these 3D-printed items for a living. It's likely just the start of designers being hired at online stores to create more elaborate products.
Will All Manufacturing Jobs be in 3D Printing?
As many manufacturing jobs in America continue to downsize and become run by robotic technology, the meaning of manufacturing jobs may turn to designers who create products for consumers to print. You can be sure that Sculpteo won't be the only store that will offer 3D-printed items for immediate use. They're already competing with another established site that sells elaborate 3D-printed items: Shapeways.
Will 3D product designers become the new method of saving manufacturing in America? For many, it could be a positive development for those wanting to mix manufacturing with creativity, something you can't always get in other manufacturing jobs. It also takes people out of industrial environments and into creative rooms working on CAD programs.
With Sculpteo just getting started, they already offer products in different colors and multiple materials to show that buying 3D products isn't limited. Even if they have only 37 designs at the moment, the way they're made is already sophisticated enough to prove success. Imagine being able to buy anything from Amazon.com in another decade and printing the items out rather than impatiently wait for them by UPS.
It's just another step forward in showing how 3D printing will help our business economy, even if it means the sometimes tenuous road of reinvention in order to make it happen.