3D Systems Suffers Setback; 3D Printing Not Ready for Project Ara

3D Systems Suffers Setback; 3D Printing Not Ready for Project Ara
Image Credit: 3D Systems Corporation

3D Systems Corporation suffered a setback after Google’s Paul Eremenko said they will not use 3D-printed materials for Project Ara for now.

Earlier this year, it had been reported that 3D Systems Corporation signed a deal with Google Inc to produce 3D-printed modules for Project Ara, the modular smartphone intended to revolutionize the industry.

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Google Inc asked 3D Systems Corporation to develop a continuous, high speed 3D-printing production platform and fulfillment system for Project Ara.  However, it seems that 3D Systems Corporation needs to do more to improve its 3D printing platform to meet the standards of Google based on the latest statement of Paul Eremenko, head of Project Ara.

Eremenko explains why they will not use 3D printing

During an interview with Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, Eremenko indicated that they will not use 3D printing materials for Project Ara’s debut. Google is expected to launch Project on January next year.

Eremenko explained that they considered using 3D-printed materials to create the shells for Project Ara to offer extra degree of customization, but it did not meet their standard.

Eremenko said, “We did in fact look at making the shells using 3D printed materials that offer an extra degree of customization…As it turned out; there is a little ways to go in the 3D printing space. So for now, we are using polycarbonate with dye sublimation as the aesthetic elements of the device.”

Eremenko still positive about the future of 3D printing

During the interview, Eremenko expressed that 3D printing offers “exciting prospects” in the future despite his lack of enthusiasm to use the technology for Project Ara right now.

“I do think that 3D printing offers some really exciting prospects and I think the costs in the long run will diminish as it gets to maturity in scale. That strikes me as an industrial-based domain that will follow something very close to Moore’s law in terms of advances. So I am not too concerned about the long term costs of 3D printing, and the capabilities are pretty staggering.”

Based on his statement, Google will likely use 3D printing in the future particularly if Project Ara’s debut would successful and consumers around the world embrace it.

3D Systems expects to generate revenue from 3D-printing racetrack platform

Stacey Witten, vice president of investor relations of 3D Systems Corporation previously stated that the company was already developing the 3D printing racetrack platform before working with Google on Project Ara.  The 3D printing company will continue to bring the platform to the market and expects to generate revenue from it next year.

3D Systems Corporation repeatedly claimed that its 3D-printing racetrack platform is 50 times faster compared with the existing material-jetting 3D-printing technologies. The company also claimed that its platform can produce multi-material smartphone components with conductive properties in minutes.

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