MakerBot has become one of the top 3D printing services in the United States by providing some excellent 3D printers for the consumer market. They may end up being the Apple of the 3D printing world in time since they're one of the few names that people know in households that follow 3D printing technology. But they have yet to conquer the world in getting their 3D printers to markets outside the U.S. This is about to change with their expansion into European markets this year.
Now it's all a matter of how far MakerBot will help advance European interests in 3D printing and how far it's going to spread around the world. This is more significant than most of us think right now because 3D printing is truly at a crossroads on who's going to use it to the fullest advantage.
Will America or International Markets Conquer 3D Printing?
You might think that America is going to be the one who will take 3D printing into the stratosphere. While we're going to benefit greatly, there hasn't been a strong drive yet to make it a top priority as a major industrial solution. We may get there in another decade, but only the big companies like NASA and the military are taking it on at a faster pace. In many regards, that's better off since we need to keep our forays into space and the military as strong as possible for the sake of stability.
What would happen if Europe became a stronger force in 3D printing than America thanks to MakerBot progressing things there? Since most of Europe link with us as allies, the faster they can progress in using 3D printing for military equipments and in space travel, the better. Joining with them, a potential world war could be deflected by using 3D printing to create better military technology.
The real worry comes in rogue nations managing to obtain 3D printing and using it to build weapons. Could 3D printing technology eventually go from Europe into despotic nations where the U.S. has tense relations?
Will 3D Printing Become a New Technology Race?
In another few years, there may be a true technology race in seeing who develops the fastest with 3D technology. By that time, every nation may have access to 3D technology and use it to build things to defend themselves as well as help their economy. If one rogue nation happened to work overtime and build some kind of superweapon or superior military technology, it could become a very complicated situation.
Then again, with the U.S. likely fully advanced with 3D printing tech by then, it could place the entire world on an even playing field when it comes to conflicts. That could lead to better outcomes in averting war, especially when 3D printing still has secret projects going on. Not knowing what the other nation has could become the ultimate chess match.
Overall, though, MakerBot entering European markets means the whole world can experience the profound economic impact 3D printing will bring to everyone. We have to look at 3D printing technology as a peace offering to the world where the wow factor of the technology will trump any use for nefarious purposes.