The Economist explains how making things with a 3D printer changes the rules of manufacturing. Although 3D printing was originally conceived as a way to make one-off prototypes, the technology is getting better and more things are being printed as finished goods. This process is known as additive manufacturing. Currently around 28% of the money spent on printing things is for final products, according to Terry Wohlers, who runs a research firm specialising in the field.
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