Will Apple Get Into 3D Printing?
Kyle Maxey posted on August 15, 2013 |

apple, fabbaloo, 3d printing, marketWe think no. Apple will not get into 3D printing anytime soon.

There's several reasons we take this view. First, remember that Apple's mantra is to produce "insanely great" products, products that have an ease of use that is significantly better than previous offerings from competitors.

Can Apple achieve this goal in 3D printing? Perhaps, but we think there is such a long way to go, it won't be soon. Here's our thoughts on some of the barriers they'd have to overcome before launching a 3D printing product:

Safety. Recent reports indicate that some personal 3D printers, specifically the plastic extrusion variety, emit nano-particles at levels similar to cigarette smoke. Before offering a plastic extrusion device, Apple would have to resolve this, perhaps by including appropriate embedded blowers and filters in their design. The good news: this is easily done.

Reliability. All current 3D printers, both personal and commercial, suffer from print failure. The issue revolves around the fact that a 3D printer has a great number of moving mechanical parts, some at high temperatures. These combine to introduce failures from time to time. In our experience, the print failure rate is vastly higher than would be tolerated for an Apple product. Apple's challenge would be to somehow make the print operation much more reliable.

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