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There is an increasing amount of talk about 3D printing at the moment, and not without reason.  3D printing technologies have the potential to transform hardware startups in the same way as open source software and the cloud have transformed web startups.  By driving the cost of getting first product to market right down 3D printing could unleash a wave of hardware innovation.

As ever the question is about timing.  3D printing has been around for a while, but costs are falling at around 50% a year and the sophistication of objects that can be printed continues to rise, so the time could be soon.

The picture above is of a bike that was 3D printed here in the UK, gears, ball bearings and all.

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