I don't think the realization will be as large as the promise but there is a market here.
It's similar to nanotechnology in that rather than having a nano company you have companies using nano.
Think Kyocera or 3M, Dow Chemical and Johnson&Johnson. Not nanotechnology co.'s but cutting edge none-the-less
From Money Morning:
Don't worry if you've never heard of 3D printing. It's so new it's not on many radar screens yet.Previously:
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."
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....MORE
"Layer by Layer" (More on 3-D Printing)
UPDATED--3D Printing: The shape of things to come (SSYS; DDD)
Welcome to the 3D economy