South by Southwest (SXSW) is a series of film, interactive, and music festivals held every year, usually in March, in Austin, Texas. One of the highlights of the SXSW Film Festival this year is Print the Legend, a documentary that discusses the major players in the 3D printing industry, the clever and highly competitive products they have become and the controversy they have stirred up in relation to the gun control debate.
image credit 3ders.com
In covering the technology known as “stereolithography”, which can be used to print everything from chess pieces to prosthetic hands and functioning human organs, directors Luis Lopez and Clay Tweel had the opportunity to begin filming at a critical moment for the business, which aims to make 3D printers as omnipresent and home-user friendly as personal computers.
image credit pocket-lint.com
The film centers focuses on two spectrums: MakerBot Industries and Formlabs. The former is a Brooklyn-based garage operation turned $400 million powerhouse whose success is credited to the charisma and vision of its co-founder and CEO, Bre Petttis, a figure bearing similarities to the late Apple co-founder/CEO Steve Jobs. The latter is a Boston-based up comer, founded in 2011 by three college grad in their 20s. The struggle to get Formlabs off the ground offers a valuable lesson in rewards and challenges of Kickstarter funding, as the free 3D printers they promise their investors are endlessly held up by production and testing delays.
3D and the rest of modern technology has indeed revolutionized the world of printing, photography, film, music and even online gaming. IGT, operator for online slots game Castle Jackpot , has come up with new mobile versions of some of their classic slots. IGT are keeping up with new technology in general by coming up with a line of impressive Facebook gaming apps and are continuously developing their position in mobile gaming.
Although the question whether affordable 3D printing have the potential to revolutionize the way we make everything have yet to be answered, sooner or later other forms of technology might.