Peter MacDiarmid/Getty Images3D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing. And this is only the beginning.
The announcement of 3D printing companies Stratasys and MakerBot merging in a $403 million deal made that all the more clear.
3D printers can produce a wide range of objects like tiny furniture, guitars, prosthetics, and even airplane parts.
Boeing uses Stratasys's 3D printers to make some components, and is constantly working on more ways to use the technology. The airline company has even built an entire cabin using one of Stratasys's 3D printers.
As of last year, Boeing has produced more than 20,000 3D-printed parts. Its used those pieces in 10 different types of military and commercial airplanes, like the luxurious Dreamliner. The Dreamliner has about 30 3D-printed parts.
3D printers help to reduce the time between the design and manufacturing stages. It's also a much more cost-efficient process.
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