Everyone’s favourite futuristic technology, 3D printing, finally looks like it could become a mainstream reality. Fabulonia, an Estonian start-up exhibiting at MWC this year, thinks so and has created a service to help designers and brands sell their designs direct to consumers and protect them from copying.
As I stood mesmerised by a Makerbot industriously fabricating what looked like a gnome, Fabulonia’s ex-Nokia CEO Kimmo Isbjornssund explained the concept to me: brands or designers host their products on Fabulonia then stream them direct to their 3D printer. This protects design owners from theft and also removes a bit of friction for the consumer.
Like independent musicians finding an audience online, this service could be an opportunity for designers to distribute and profit from niche styles. However, I am still to see the compelling use case that will take 3D printing across the chasm to widespread adoption.