Feb. 11, 2015 | By Alec

While recent 3D printing innovations and revolutionary applications have been largely the product of promising start-ups and highly-motivated student teams, that looks to be slowly changing. More and more mainstream giants of the technology and electronics industries have become interested in 3D printing technology as well, which will doubtlessly change a few things in the coming years.

And now, as reported by the Korea Times, the South Korean behemoth of consumption electronics Samsung has implemented a new innovation policy that will cover 3D printing as well. Specifically, they have established a team of independent researchers to specifically focus their efforts on the development of virtual reality, robotics, robotic telepresence, drones, autonomous vehicles and 3D printing technology.

According to one Samsung official, the team’s goal is to develop new and revolutionary consumer products. "Given the significance of the team, members will have more authority and independence because the main purpose of the team isn't to develop single devices for any imminent results, but to develop solutions to go with Samsung's manufacturing capabilities," the unnamed official told reporters.

Another official confirmed speculation that this team is supposed to be an answer to a changing consumer market, wherein competitive prices aren’t the key factor anymore. "Samsung's previous success was mostly due to releasing products that are competitive in pricing," he revealed. "This is an old business formula. We need to constantly explore new ways to meet the needs of people through innovation and updated technologies." After all, Apple can ask just about anything for their products, and people will continue to form queues. While Samsung still holds the first place in the global smartphone market in terms of sales, Apple is reportedly closing in on them.

This is, as the official told reporters, why Samsung is changing their focus to long term innovation. "This is why Samsung is accelerating efforts to collaborate with governments and is putting more focus on developing solutions embedded with our components and technologies." They will reportedly also seek to incorporate new revenue streams, including emerging industries such as the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, and intelligent appliances and vehicles.

For us, the real question is: what could this mean for the fortunes of 3D printing technology? While we can currently do little more than speculate, the fact that such a manufacturing giant as Samsung is looking to adopt 3D printing as a production technology is very promising. It could, after all, decrease 3D printing costs globally, be used to create new products and encourage competitors to similarly adopt 3D printing technology. In short, it's a step in the right direction on the road to making 3D printing a mainstream manufacturing technology. It’ll be very interesting to see how it will be implemented by Samsung over the coming years.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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