3D Printing: Perspectives from the hardware and software sides
Are 3D printers toy makers? Are they machines that can make biomechanical organs?
Two keynote presentations at this Spring’s Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo, held in New York City’s Javits Convention Center, came at the category from software and hardware perspectives. One, a speech, and the other, a panel, dealt frankly with the challenges of both defining and growing a category whose potential is limitless, but which is saddled with somewhat of an identity crisis among consumers.
In his talk entitled “The Killer Apps of 3D Printing,” Peter Leys, executive chairman of the board for the software provider Materialise, averred that applications are “the oxygen for the ecosystem” of 3D printing. “Every day, new apps come to life in the automotive, aviation and aeronautics fields, and for industrial, consumer and medical applications—[used for making] hearts to hearing aids, to cushioned insoles for athletes.”