3D Printing Expo Shows an Industry Focused on Innovation
NEWS ANALYSIS: 3D printing offers significant business benefits, say its enthusiasts, but also the potential to create a generation of deeper thinkers.NEW YORK—The Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo at the Javits Center here from April 2 to 4 offered a reminder that 3D printing is intended to change the world. On display were 3D printers for every type of user, budget and intention. Printed items ranged from a bicycle to a drum kit, a small city made of sandstone, a dragon, the heels of shoes (athletic to 4-inch heels), jewelry, countless trinkets (bunnies, robots, a 5-inch replica of Brazil's "Cristo Redentor") and a super-hero suit. Try as I did, I couldn't find a baker or confectionist offering printed edibles, though I was happy to receive a small, light clip designed to keep my earbuds from tangling in my purse. It uses a tiny safety pin as a hinge and does the job perfectly. The clip was created by Steve Kurti, the chief executive maker at Table Top Inventing, who during his session, "Educating Makers: The First Step to Revolutionary Change," highlighted what's arguably the most exciting and world-changing thing about 3D printing: It can change the way the next generation learns, thinks and approaches the world.
Kurti opened his talk with a question: What do 3D printing, the Mars Rover and vegan strawberry shortcake have in common?