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Video / 27 June 2014 at 8:15 GMT

Should you be investing in 3D printing companies?

Thomas Kiely
Are 3D printers stealing away customers from Tiffany’s? Tech expert Stuart Miles from believes that as 3D printers become more affordable the uses for such devices will become more diverse, even for items such as engagement rings.

Although this technology currently appears quite foreign, Stuart believes these devices will soon become as commonplace as scanners. Adoption of this new technology is becoming easier and easier as the prices of 3D printers continue to decline. Companies like MakerBot, which previously offered 3D printers for GBP 2,500 are now offering devices in the GBP 1,000 range.  Another company, 3Doodler offers a 3D printing pen for a cost of only GBP 99.00. The growing affordability of 3D printers has created a “huge investment market” according to Stuart.

MakerBot employees Sub Bhatt and Georgina Antzouli provide an inside look into the mechanics behind the 3D process where objects are printed using a biodegradable corn-based plastic that is applied repeatedly at a one millimeter thickness. Maekrbot’s new app allows designers to create objects such as bracelets and rings online and print them digitally via WiFi.

The possibilities appear to be endless for 3D printing which has already been used on runways, aircrafts, and medical devices. Stuart has personally witnessed the popularity of these devices first hand, mentioning a friend who uses 3D printers to create pieces for board games. The future for 3D printed engagements rings is up for debate however and Tiffany’s market share appears to be secure for the moment.


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