A hobby club started by an IT graduate and a migrant from China aims to popularise 3D technologies in New Zealand.
Members to the Auckland-based 3D Hobby Club will have access to courses, 3D technologies and equipment.
“In 2007, many 3D companies settled down in my hometown, Wuxi, [China] with government support,” says the club’s founder, Tony Zhou, on where he got the idea for the club.
The club has tie-ups with libraries Central City, Onehunga and Ponsonby and plans to work with universities, colleges, schools and other educational and technological institutions.
Each member is allowed access to high-end computers with a range of software and 3D printers.
Gartner expects that by 2015, seven of the 50 largest multinational retailers will sell 3D printers through their physical and online stores.
“Major multinational physical and online retailers have the means to market the technology to consumers and enterprise buyers, generating demand for the devices and revenue by selling printers and supplies, as well as from sales of individual 3D-printed pieces,” says Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner.
“Simply experiencing the technology and conceiving ways to use it will mainly drive makers and hobbyists, not the average consumer, to purchase a 3D printer to begin with,” says Basiliere. “However, we expect that a compelling consumer application — something that can only be created at home on a 3D printer — will hit the scene by 2016.”
This application, which will be the most compelling use case yet for consumer 3D printing, will arise from work done by makers and other enthusiasts, he states.They will push the envelope of consumer 3D printing uses, enabled by manufacturers who develop “plug-and-play” tools.
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