3-D Printing Is About to Get a Lot Less Expensive
The concept of 3-D printing isn't new, but for a lot of companies, it's not economically viable. The benefits don't outweigh the cost, yet. But, 3-D printing company Carbon is looking to make 3-D printing more accessible for everyone by slashing the price of three commonly used resin materials.
Carbon CEO Joe DeSimone told Forbes that this is "a seminal moment" and that 3-D printing is "not prototyping anymore, it's production."
Last year, Carbon cut the price of its rigid polyurethane material, otherwise known as RPU 70, from $250 per liter to $150 per liter; cut the price of elastomeric polyurethane (EPU 41) from $300 per liter to $150 per liter; and cut price of epoxies from $300 to $150 per liter.
This week's price cut involves all three materials for bulk orders of 50 liters or more.
DeSimone said he hopes the price cuts make it easier for factory-scale production where injection molding was typically the norm.
"With injection molding, the more you make, the lower the price, because you amortize over more and more parts," he told Forbes. "People have always said in 3-D printing that it's a flat line, and it doesn't matter if you make one or a thousand. That assumes the resin price doesn't change, and we now see for the first time the cost down-curve in 3-D printing."
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The rumor here is that Carbon is setting itself up for IPO, something DeSimone didn't rule out when asked about it.
While the move won't likely set off a sudden explosion of 3-D printing, it is a big step toward making it more economically viable, which could have all kinds of ripple effects for manufacturing. We'll see if it's enough for 3-D printing to make the big leap it seems constantly on the verge of taking.