Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Stocks Bear Market Apocalypse Imminent Crash Gets Nuked Again - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold And Silver – A Reality Check - Michael_Noonan
3.The Killer Ape, Human Evolution, Artificial Intelligence and Extinction End Game - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Stock Market S&P 500 Volatility-Based Price Probability Range - Richard_Shaw
5.A Stocks Bear Market Is Now More Likely Than Not - Richard_Shaw
6.Money Supply and the Fed’s Serious Inflation Risks - Zeal_LLC
7.More Selling for Stock Market, Gold? - Brad_Gudgeon
8.Gold, Silver Precious Metals: a Critical Week Ahead - Rambus_Chartology
9.Gold Price Change in Character - Gary_Savage
10.Advice for Biotech Investors: 'Hold Your Powder' 'til Winter - TLSReport
Last 5 days
Dr Copper Back from the Dead - Time to Buy or Blink - 8th Oct 15
Glencore Rout Blamed on Short Sellers Playing With CDS - 8th Oct 15
The Real Reason for the Refugee Crisis You Won’t Hear About in the Media - 8th Oct 15
US Stocks: The [Trend]Line Between Bull and Bear Market - 8th Oct 15
Bundesbank “Reassures” Re. Gold Bullion Reserves as Deutsche Bank Shocks With €6 Billion Loss Warning - 8th Oct 15
How Our Aversion To Change Leads Us Into Danger - 8th Oct 15
Moving Stem Cell Research Forward: Bernie Siegel of the Genetics Policy Institute - 8th Oct 15
Stock Market VERY IMPORTANT Turn Date - 7th Oct 15
The 5th Convergence…An Economic & Financial Superstorm That Will Devastate America - 7th Oct 15
Summers Grades Janet Yellen's Fed Performance 'Incomplete' - 7th Oct 15
Gold Versus Central Banks Paper Ponzi - 7th Oct 15
QE3 is Over Get Ready for QE4 - 7th Oct 15
How to Profit from Government Mandates in Biofuels - 7th Oct 15
A Key Oil Price Trend That Everyone Is Missing - 6th Oct 15
Stock Market Turn Appears to Have Been Made - 6th Oct 15
Designing a Dividend Growth Portfolio for a Specific Retirement Yield Objective - 6th Oct 15
Peter Schiff Predicts Gold Price Breakout - Video - 6th Oct 15
Theresa May Declares War on Immigration - Conference Speech Full Transcript - 6th Oct 15
Is Russia Plotting To Bring Down OPEC? - 6th Oct 15
Target Date Funds As Aid In Retirement Investment Portfolio Design - 6th Oct 15
Stocks Bear Market Apocalypse Imminent Crash Gets Nuked Again - 6th Oct 15
Redesigning Internet and Facebook to Explore Their Full Potentialities... - 5th Oct 15
Nightshades Curb Your Enthusiasm - 5th Oct 15
U.S. Recession Watch, High-Yield – Rising Defaults - 5th Oct 15
The Social Challenge to Find Humanity in Capitalism - 5th Oct 15
Fed Interest Rate Hike: "I don't care. It doesn't really make much of a difference" - 5th Oct 15
Gold Rose 2.2%, Silver Surged 5.4% After Poor Jobs Number On Friday - 5th Oct 15
Gold, Silver Precious Metals: a Critical Week Ahead - 5th Oct 15
Stock Market Correction Still in Force - 5th Oct 15
Gold Price Change in Character - 5th Oct 15
Putin’s Blitz Leaves Washington Rankled and Confused - 4th Oct 15
More Selling for Stock Market, Gold? - 4th Oct 15
Gold And Silver – A Reality Check - 3rd Oct 15
Stock Market Primary IV Still, or Primary V Underway? - 3rd Oct 15
The Oil Industry’s Day of Reckoning - 3rd Oct 15
U.S. Interest Rate Hikes Keep On Slippin' Into the Future; Treasury Yields Sink Again - 3rd Oct 15
China's Stock Market Crashing; Time for Panic or Restraint - 3rd Oct 15
SPX Stocks Bulls Struggle to Regain the Upper hand... - 2nd Oct 15
The Two Faces of Stock Market Volatility - 2nd Oct 15
Money Supply and the Fed’s Serious Inflation Risks - 2nd Oct 15
Stock Market How Bad Can This Get, And How Fast? - 2nd Oct 15
A Worrying Set Of Recession Signals - 2nd Oct 15
Negative Jobs Report Sents SPX, TNX Lower - 2nd Oct 15
Don't be Fooled by the Recent Equity market Rallies. Its a Bear Market, Stupid! - 2nd Oct 15
US Bond Market - How to Fix This - 2nd Oct 15
Survival Secrets from Colorado Resource Investing Front Lines - 2nd Oct 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How Desktop 3D Printing Factories Will Create the Next $1 Trillion Industry

Companies / Technology Mar 08, 2012 - 07:34 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning


Diamond Rated - Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleMichael Robinson writes: Don't worry if you've never heard of 3D printing. It's so new it's not on many radar screens yet.

But soon everyone will know about it.

Still in its very early stages, 3D printing is destined to have a huge impact on the entire world economy.

These "desktop factories" will one day become a $1 trillion industry-completely changing the traditional factory model forever.

It's what's known as a "disruptive technology."

Here's why...

By the end of this decade, everyone from consumers to big businesses to solo inventors will be able to make their own unique products in just a couple of hours.

Need a special tool?... Or a new spare part?

Soon you will be able to fire up the 3D printer and make one from composite materials.

Indeed, I recently watched a YouTube video of Z Corp. making an adjustable wrench from high-tech compounds. It was a copy made from metal.

Though it weighed less than the original, the "printed" wrench worked just as well and looked every bit as strong.

And let's not gloss over the medical products that can be created by these revolutionary printers. An 83-year-old woman in Europe recently received a new jaw doctors printed with titanium powder.

Medical team members said they made the implant in just a few hours compared with the several days usually required with existing methods.

That's why I say this technology symbolizes the Era of Radical Change. Now, anyone who knows computer basics can make or invent products on the fly.

3D Printing: A New Wave of Innovation

Technically, you don't really "print" a new product, though the process is similar. Rather than putting ink on paper, the system creates the product by adding thin layers of special polymers and some metals.

This is literally "cutting edge" high tech that is destined to become big business.

I believe it is the 21st century equivalent of the laser printer and the dawn of desktop publishing in the 1980s that changed the entire print industry.

But don't take my word for it...

Let's hear from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), the high-tech giant that knows both types of printers extremely well.

The Silicon Valley leader now offers a high-end unit made for professional use. Its DesignJet Color 3D printer reportedly sells for $20,000.

But consider this: 3D printing will soon come to the masses at prices they can afford.

Today, MakerBot sells its Replicator for $1,749. Its users can download free modeling software such as TinkerCAD or Sketchup from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) to print their own products.

Small-cap leader 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) also recently launched the Cube, a competing device that lists for $1,299. A related website,, combines the simplicity of a coloring book with robust digital resources.

The firm's CEO, Abraham N. Reichental, told BBC news that 3D Systems already has 1,000 workers -- and nearly as many patents.

Now just think of what will happen when the price of these machines drops to $500....

We're talking mass customization of a wide range of goods, from forks to jewelry to high-tech ski helmets.

When this happens, 3D printing will undoubtedly unleash a whole new wave of innovation.

And for a very simple reason...

Inventors will be able to use a low-cost 3D printer to truly unleash the power of their imaginations.

When that happens creativity has the potential to increase exponentially.

There will be no more spending thousands of dollars to have a specialty firm make a mold before you can even build the prototype.

3D Printing: Endless Possibilities

Now you know why the top brass at the Smithsonian just gave 3D printing their stamp of approval.

You see, the world's largest museum boasts more than 137 million objects. But only a few remain on display at any point in time.

With 3D printing, officials can scan originals with special software. Then they can "print" replicas they can loan to other museums.

At the very least, the Smithsonian can afford to make digital 3D images of its vast collection it can then store for later access.

According to a recent story by CNET, the museum already touts a 3D printed-replica of a Thomas Jefferson statue, which they say is the "largest 3D printed museum quality historical replica" on earth.

Meanwhile, 3D printing has also created other products with a definite "wow" factor.

Take the case of the two British researchers who printed their own spy plane in a week -- it took two days to design on a computer and five days to make.

The small, unmanned plane with a wingspan of about 4.5 feet soared at 100 MPH. You can watch a YouTube video of what's touted as the first flight of its kind here.

The European aerospace giant EADS also uses the technology to make specialty aircraft parts.

They've started with items like brackets that hold parts in place. But their long-term goal is to print the entire wing of a jetliner.

German supplier EOS says it gets parts orders from car and aerospace firms. And also from... dentists.

EOS says it can create up to 450 dental crowns in one day. That compares with about a dozen for most firms using conventional systems.

Not even music is immune to the disruptive impact of 3D printing. Last year, EOS used a specialty compound to make parts for a violin.

A violin maker assembled the parts into a working instrument that was then played by a concert violinist.

Clearly, 3D printing is destined to have a huge impact on the global economy.

I believe it could be worth $1 trillion in as little as a decade.

How is that, you ask?....

It's a matter of simple math.

The global economy measures about $60 trillion. Of that, manufacturing accounts for 17%, or $10.2 trillion.

If 3D printing captures just 10% of the sector that would total just over $1 trillion.

That's why I say we will see lots of opportunities to invest directly in this technology, or in firms using it to improve profit margins.

Either way, it is time to open your eyes to the possibilities of 3D printing.

Otherwise you'll miss the Next Big Thing that will change the future of manufacturing.


Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2012 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email:

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History