More and more stories are appearing in popular media about the potential of such technology, with eye-catching demonstrations doing the viral rounds on the internet and social media.
So, it seems like the age of the three-dimensional printout and reliable solidworks product design software are here but what exactly are the practical implications for small businesses?
Well, as the technology looks set to impact on every area of our lives, there are endless possibilities for small businesses being able to utilise this technology, from a direct sales point of view (designs and patterns etc.) to more creative and conceptual projects.
Product development is very much already benefiting from the emerging technology. Seeing a 3D model on a 2D computer screen is one thing, but being able to hold it in your hand and see exactly how the product might look and feel is completely different.
For anyone who works in a creative field this is a huge leap forward. Gardeners would now be able to create mock-ups of their plans and show to potential clients. The same goes for builders and architects. This physical and real projection of imagination has a very tangible and direct appeal.
Of course, it also means companies can create their own prototypes and can experiment with designs on a more affordable basis. Rather than having designs created externally, you can now get an idea for the geometry, feel and size within the office, after just a few minutes.
This streamlining of the design and trial process could be invaluable to small businesses that can’t afford extended time scales.
As you can see, the potential is there for small businesses. 3D and CAD technology is already helping many to realise their projects, win new clients and save time and money by not embarking in projects that might not be feasible.
After so many years of speculation, the reality of 3D printing is finally here, and you can’t afford to get left behind as the technology develops.