In 2014 the patent on 3D printing will expire, effectively opening up the manufacturing floodgates for 3D printing products. But it is not just manufacturer’s that need to take notice; 3D printing has the potential to turn the retail world upside down.
Today’s consumer 3D printers can fit on a desk top and retail for less than $1000. Consumers with a little bit of know-how will soon be able to print for themselves almost anything. The challenge for retailers is to understand the impact this could have on business and find ways to capitalize on this revolutionary technology before it is too late.