Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What did the 2012 election do for 3D Printing?

So for those that have been living under a rock there was this little thing called an election last week. I'm sure there were a lot of aspects of the 2012 election that will influence the 3D economy moving forward, but for now lets look at what the presidential election did.

As we saw the election came down to Ohio. In a previous post I highlighted the recently created National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute and how Obama created this 3D printing development center to apply the technology to American manufacturing. At the time I wrote that post I wasn't considering the election in Ohio, but in retrospect locating of the plant in Youngstown, Ohio was also good for the Obama campaign as they fought to solidify they're image as saving manufacturing jobs in the region (see the White House release). There is no counter-factual to say what would have happened if there was no election, but the 3D economy is a clear winner in this potentially politically motivated move. I will leave the judgement of whether it paid off to you.

via Politico
On a less serious note, the election also gave rise to candidate themed 3D printed products. Makerbot launched a last minute poll using file downloads of candidate busts as votes. I can't say these are exact replicas, but the idea is fun. The results: Obama 394, Romney 146.

Obama on Thingiverse

Romney on Thingiverse

and there are earrings on Shapeways by Gilligonia (They also come in "Barack Michelle" and some other fun combos)

See here

See here