How 3-D Printing Startups Are Shaping the Future

How 3-D Printing Startups Are Shaping the Future
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"10-22-38 Astoria" -- that was the message written on the first photocopied page, which was produced in 1938. In the 50 years that followed, Xerox was born, a trillion-dollar industry developed around document duplication, every business got a copier (if not two) and home printers became able to reproduce pages.

But today, with 3-D printing, we can print a lot more than just words and images. With the emergent technology, any desktop computer can output objects as simple as a ball and as intricate as a human bone. Printing in a variety of materials, from bendable nylon filaments to strong thermoplastics, these devices have gone from invention to adoption twice as fast as the photocopy machine. And this 3-D printing revolution signals big changes for small businesses, allowing them to keep development costs low, innovation churning and a new way to keep their secret prototypes in-house and safe from copycats.

Meanwhile, the 3-D printing industry is also developing fast, with industry giants like Stratasys aquiring upstarts like Makerbot for $408 million. But innovative outfits are forming all the time.

Here, we take a look at three other startups that are carving out their own niches at the forefront of 3-D printing. To get started, just click the "Next" link below.


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Based in Portland, Ore., John Patrick Pullen covers travel, business and tech for Men's Journal, Fortune and others.

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