In this episode of Technotopia I talk to Greg Mark, founder of Markforged. Mark recently made news with his new metal printing technology that heats metallic objects in a microwave, reducing by hours the time it takes to make metal parts. He believes that 3D printing is the future, but not in the low-quality, stringy and plasticky way we expect.
Mark said that rapid prototyping has gotten easier and better. Once you had to build a mold to make one prototype. Now, with metal printing technology, you can make one to one thousand prototypes. The only times you’d ever need to use old manufacturing processes is when you need to produce a million objects, not mere thousands.
This means that it will soon be far easier to experiment and produce short-run products. Factories will have to change, as well, when it makes no real sense to charge thousands to print a few dozen prototypes.