Heading a start-up after leaving his position as head of Microsoft Game Studios, Ed Fries thought that he might be able to sell 10,000 units of his product -- personalized online game figurines -- the first year.
After two months, about 100,000 people had signed up, and Fries had to institute a lottery to determine which customers would actually be served.
Fries and his his start-up, FigurePrints LLC in Kirkland, Wash., are using a process called 3-D printing that uses printer-like machines to build small models, parts and prototypes. The technology has been around for a while but is moving closer to the small shop and perhaps even the consumer space, some observers say.
Printing, 3–D Printing, Technology