Three-D printers are coming to a desktop near you. Should designers and factories be worried?
By Johnny Ryan, contributor
FORTUNE -- Three-dimensional printing is pretty wacky sounding. Imagine hitting "print" on your home computer and instantly manufacturing any number of plastic, titanium, clay, or silicone objects -- a pair of earrings, say, or a new toy for your kid.
Corporations already use 3-D printers to make product prototypes before embarking on mass manufacturing. Now a handful of technology companies, including HP (HPQ) and Google (GOOG), are looking for ways to bring 3-D printing to consumers and small businesses -- a trend that could have profound implications for manufacturing and design. Here's why: The blueprints or files for 3-D printing are digital and, as a result, can potentially be edited by anyone -- if the designer permits. More
|Boost for trade as global deal struck|
|Someone bought a $100,000 Tesla with Bitcoins|
|2 million Facebook, Gmail and Twitter passwords stolen in massive hack|
|Where should you put your money now?|
|Ron Paul: Bitcoin could 'destroy the dollar'|