3D Printing Reinventing Global Retail Market - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

3D Printing Reinventing Global Retail Market

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From the medical field to the toy store, 3D printing is quickly reinventing the global retail market. The computerized process has come a long way since the 1980's. It's quick and cost effective production has more and more people demanding this specialized technology, now accessible in the comfort of your own home.

Companies use three dimensional printed objects to ensure their vision and consumer quality is carried out before sending thousands of products to the shelf.

A computer lays down successive layers of material to create three dimensional objects, but David Yakos, creative director and co-owner of Bozeman-based product design firm, Salient Technologies, says the process is not as technical as it sounds.

"A simple analogy for 3D printing would be a hot glue gun where you are extruding out a little bit of hot glue at a time in the same way little beads of plastic can come out and build up one layer at a time."

But now, this technology is becoming accessible to the public.

Salient Technologies president and co-owner Stephen Sanford says the price of 3D printing technology has gone down while quality has increased.

"In the 1990's it was $50,000 dollars. That same printer a couple years later was $25,000. That same technology is available in printers now that cost $3000."

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