3D Printing and Manufacturing Supply Chain
18 May 2011
In preparation for Maker Faire
this weekend I'm collecting more of my thoughts around 3D printing.
As I do with all my research, I blog along the way, to help me learn and organize my thoughts. This is a first post in my ongoing evaluation of the role of APIs in 3D printing and manufacturing.
I'm working to understand the major components of 3D printing so I can see where APIs are can have the biggest impact.
I've identified 10 major components of 3D printing:
- Creators - 3D designers of virtual print objects
- Scanners - Scanning hardware for generating 3D models
- Modeling Software - Applications for building 3D models
- File Formats - File formats for storing 3D models
- Warehousing - Virtual storage for 3D models
- Marketplaces - Arenas for showcasing, distributing and ordering 3D products
- Printers - Companies and hardware that deliver 3D printing
- Process & Materials - The process and materials that go into 3D printing
- Makers - The people who understand 3D printers, process, materials and industries
- Delivery - Logistics behind getting 3D printed products to consumers
Of course this is just my perspective of the industry and can evolve as I learn more, and collaborate with other industry players.
I've been fortunate enough to talk with key people from Shapeways
, and Cloudfab
, and get their opinion on the role of APIs in 3D printing and manufacturing.
This series was just to help me understand the major components, and I will do another series on how APIs can impact these areas.
Then I will do a summary post on ProgrammableWeb.com
about the role of APIs in 3D printing.