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3D Printing and Technology Fund portents how 3D printing industry is going mainstream

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January 30
8:53 AM 2014

While there are signs that the 3D printing industry has already gone mainstream the first mutual fund focused on 3D printing and technology is another indication that it has indeed done so, VentureBeat reported.

3D Printing and Technology Fund Head Alan Meckler said 3D printing has similarities to the Internet. He told VentureBeat, "It's entirely similar to where the commercial Internet was in '94, '95, '96" when creative destruction occurred in a variety of industries due to a paradigm shift.

Meckler, who currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Mediabistro, has had a long history with the internet, including the magazines and conferences of Virtual Reality World and Internet World, Internet.com, SearchEngineWatch, Earthweb and Jupitermedia. Just like the Web, Meckler said that 3D printing has changed the economies of scale and allowed people to compete in various industries. He expects, "hundreds of thousands of new businesses created from 3D printing in the next few years."

However, there are still differences between the two industries. Meckler told VentureBeat that there won't be as many public offerings as the Internet has created. He added that the the 3D printing business model "is more than just eyeballs."

One of the firms in the new mutual fund is Organovo, a company that is set to unveil its first product in 2014. Organovo's produces 3D-printed liver assays or collections of liver cells that can be utilized for drug-testing, the report said.

Meckler also told VentureBeat that Autodesk, Stratasys and 3D Systems are some of the other stocks in the portfolio of the mutual fund. Stratasys is the owner of MakerBot while 3D Systems is collaborating with Hershey to develop a 3D printer that can make chocolate, candies and other edible products, the report said.

Meckler's passion for 3D printing is not only evidenced by the mutual fund. He also holds trade shows called Inside 3D Printing,the report said.

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