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The home of 3D printing in New York City

Posting in Cities

Could 3D printing bring manufacturing back to the concrete jungle?

New York City is one of the most expensive places to live in the world. Now focused on finance, services and tourism, the once-booming manufacturing industry NYC enjoyed -- from battleships to sugar -- is long gone, and the jobs with it.

There's simply no place for the construction and manufacture of steel and clothing in the city anymore -- but could 3D printing have a home in the Big Apple?

If you venture into the Long Island City neighborhood, just across from Manhattan, one building has been put to such use. The Shapeways factory is now firmly established in New York after the company relocated from the Netherlands.

Shapeways is not the only 3D printing company to consider NYC. Makerbot, a producer of 3D printers, has just opened a factory in Brooklyn.

Why? Now 3D printing technology has evolved to the point where it is now no longer merely the domain of industrial engineers, everyone from healthcare professionals to tourists can use the technology. In particular, designers are currently exploring the uses of 3D manufacture -- people that New York City happens to host in their thousands.

"Now technology has caught up, we're capable of doing manufacturing locally again," Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO of Shapeways told The Associated Press.

Shapeways offers online stores where designers can offer 3D products using the central factory to manufacture them. While the CEO did not reveal exact figures, Weijmarshausen did say that many are making "substantial" profit.

While 3D printing is unlikely to reintroduce manufacturing to NYC on an extreme scale, it can provide a source of income for designers shelling out thousands of dollars in rent every month and working multiple jobs to survive.

Via: The Associated Press

— By on August 7, 2013, 8:25 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure