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I was certain Forge would go forward. I'm guessing price point was an issue?
That $299 unit you mentioned was what I had in mind in citing a bottom end of $300 - there are also other "kits" for 3D printers available in that price range.
Unlike the Form1, lower-priced printers will use FDM ("hot glue gun") instead of STL technology, so instead of the Form1's 25 micron (.001") resolution, cheaper units are likely to produce 100 to 300 micron resolution, which would be unacceptable for most retail products. Plus, on a per-unit basis material cost (filament) is unacceptably high and build time is WAY too long (it would likely take 10 hours to print a "Solo" hanger while injection molding would take seconds per unit).
Nick: we're on the same page - I initially thought you were surmising that 3D printing/distributed manufacturing was an immediate concern in product selection/development at Quirky.
While I agree that distributed manufacturing will eventually be a reality, it's not there yet.
Machine expense, available materials, technical ability, and surface finish are all factors preventing 3D printing from doing what you describe...yet.
You're looking at $300 - $3000+ for a home printer (many of which require assembly); a choice of only PLA or ABS; at least intermediate computer and hardware ability and an average 100 micron/.004" surface finish.
I've recently been playing with a $3,000 Makerbot 3D printer; a $300,000 Waterjet cutter; a $25,000 Tormach CNC Mill; $20,000 Laser cutter, etc. and I STILL would be hard-pressed to produce a passable version of even a relatively simple item like Whix even after weeks of effort. Distributed manufacturing is just not there yet (though yes, it is coming).