The common thread
Manufacturers have a lot to gain by making 3D printing technology less scary and more greenhorn-friendly, but the key is in variety. Veterans to this technology will want more customizable machines that they can tinker with and run open-source software on; Beginners will want plug-and-print models with more straightforward software and a full printing marketplace. Because so much of what was announced at CES this year is more approachable to young adults and the next-generation of makers, 2014 might just be a pivotal year for the printer—and not just for making tchotchkes.
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