Microsoft invited tech enthusiasts to watch local 3-D printers in action at its New England Research and Design Center, and encouraged printing gurus to talk about the business opportunities around 3-D printing.
3-D printing is gaining traction as a buzzword, but the practical applications around the technology are still being realized. 3-D printing has recently been used in medicine, the automotive industry and commercial manufacturing.
"So far the industry is full of opportunity and possibility," said Pauline Perepelkin, who runs a 3-D printing company in Somerville, Mass. "When we talk about 3-D printing, we're really talking about the manufacturing process."
Local 3-D printing companies 3D Hubs and Formlabs showed off fused deposition modeling printers, which heat and extrude plastic material, layering it to create plastic parts and models.
"Not only does 3-D printing offer the opportunity of reduced waste, but it's also something gets people excited about technology," Perepelkin said.
PUBLISHED MAY 13, 2014