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1. Describe the past and present states of the additive manufacturing (3D printing) industry.

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing refers to various processes used to synthesize a three dimensional object. In 3D printing, successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. 3D printers were large machines costing several hundred thousand dollars had existed since the early 1980s and they were called Raid Prototyping (RP) technologies. The first commercial RP system, the SLA-1 was introduced in 1987 and following thorough testing the first of these systems was sold in 1988. A number of competing companies in the RP existed in the early nineties like Ballistic Particle Manufacturing (BPM) by William Masters, Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) by Michael Feygin, Solid Ground Curing (SGC) by Emanuel Sachs etc. but only three of the originals remain today-3D systems, EOS and Stratasys. Throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s a number of new technologies were introduced, focusing on industrial applications. The most common 3D printing method was Fused Disposition Modeling (FDM), used by MakerBot. The 3 D printing technology is expected to reach $3.1 billion worldwide by this year and $5.2 billion by 2020.
2. Define and describe open source versus proprietary hardware and software. Provide examples to illustrate Proprietary hardware is controlled by the proprietor, often under patent or Trade-secret protection. Any software which places restrictions on use, analysis, modification or distribution can be termed proprietary. Most of the early computer hardware was designed as proprietary until the 1980s when IMB PC changed this model. The existing 3D systems used proprietary hardware and software. So Pettis, Mayer and Smith decided to launch and grow MakerBot using only open-source technology so that their first...

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