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The ability to manufacture 3D products for money arguably offers the best 3D printing opportunities in the world. Unfortunately, the ability to produce things in large manufacturing plants has been centered in on only a few dominating companies, despite those places hiring 3D designers to work for them to produce products. One of the best known is Shapeways that recently gave a tour to Gizmodo.com of their New York City office.
During the tour, they showed just why they've been the top 3D manufacturing plant in the world. They've already established themselves as the leading place where you can buy simple and complex 3D-printed items and have them sent as digital files so you can print them on your own 3D printer.
While Shapeways has been one of the leading 3D manufacturing plants, they've probably enjoyed their dominance for a little too long. With 3D printing become the greatest technological advancement in (arguably) human history, you have to see other 3D printing manufacturing plants giving Shapeways competition. How many manufacturing plants will we see in America before the end of the decade as a new boost to American manufacturing?
The Reinvention of Manufacturing in America
With so many manufacturing jobs disappearing in America and manufacturers having to reinvent themselves in other careers, the irony is they may be able to go back to manufacturing in a different field. Training for using and designing on 3D printers is already being taught in many colleges that students can parlay into a career. Eventually, we'll see many more manufacturing plants pop up across America that produce a number of different things. Right now, Shapeways offers a fairly diverse list of items from car parts to more practical items, many printed with full color. Many plants, though, will be honed in on car manufacturing, drone building, and many other sectors of manufacturing that will continue or develop.
Those who used to produce things in manufacturing plants the old fashioned way may soon be sitting at a computer designing items and then supervising the printing process. At the same time, these employees will probably be getting paid more and enjoying a new wave of American manufacturing that saves time and money.
As much as the U.S. economy may still be volatile, having Shapeways around now gives you a little preview of how the economy could ultimately be repaired with the 3D industry. Much of that will work in conjunction with our homes where 3D printers can produce our own little manufacturing plants.