I’m not that old but I remember a time when, if my parents needed some photocopying done, they would give me the original document and I would walk half a mile to the nearest ‘service provider’ – a nice little shop on the high street where they operated the only large-scale professional printer and fax machines in the South London suburb where I grew up. Now that was 20 years ago.
Today I can buy a 2D printer that’s a fraction of the size, at a fraction of the cost – that prints at a far better quality than those enormous machines would have ever dreamed possible. And it sits on my desk while I write this.
Now, because Objet is based on the same inkjet principle, we are currently seeing a similar revolution in 3D printing – albeit in far less time that it previously took – since today we are on the steep curve incline of price/capability improvement thanks to software advancements and nano-technology and due to the fact that 3D printing has already been around for 10 years or more. During that time we have seen the technology move from high-end industries to the desktop market – and all featuring the same standard of high-quality and accuracy across the board – whether its high-end multi-material prototyping and additive manufacturing or small-scale design modeling.
As for our 3D print quality – our printed models cannot be told apart easily from the real product they are simulating – both in terms of detail or functionality. This video perfectly illustrates the point I think: