"3D printing: market hype or the 'next big thing'?"

Published 11/18/2013

COMING ALIVE: Andy Coutu, president of R&D Technologies, and Gemma Downey inspect a 3-D-printed car seat.

By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer

There’s something unusual about the doorstops at R&D Technologies Inc.’s new Quonset Business Park offices in North Kingstown.

Instead of getting them at a big-box store or clicking on the website of an online office supplier, company employees drew them up on a computer, walked down the hall and printed them.

Rhode Island’s only retailer of 3-D printers, R&D Technologies believes that in the not-too-distant future, most companies and many individuals will make a wide array of products themselves, many more complicated than doorstops, now made in factories and sold in stores.

Like the Internet or robotics, 3-D printing entrepreneurs say the technology has the potential to cause an “industrial revolution” capable of reshaping traditional manufacturing and retailing...

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