May 21, 2022

New 33 Page White Paper Looks at Future of 3D Printing and the Consumer

Here’s a new report some infoDOCKET readers might find interesting and perhaps even useful.

Here’s a new white paper (July 7, 2014) from the Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service (no kidding!) offering a 33 page overview on the topic and business of 3D printing. It’s loaded with statistics, charts, case studies, etc.

As you would expect the paper includes discussion about how the USPS could become involved in 3D perhaps serving as printing hubs.

By the way, page ten of the report features a discussion of where consumers will access 3D printing. There is no mention of how libraries are currently serving as locations for consumers to actually do some 3D printing.

Here’s how the discussion concludes:

While people may be able to use their in-home printers for some items, based on this 2D printing analogy, it is likely that most products will still be manufactured by traditional means or industrial grade 3D printers. It is also likely that local 3D printing centers, similar to existing copy centers, could serve as a place where people could both scan items they would like to recreate or order professional-grade 3D prints of designs they may have purchased online.

Direct to Full Text Report (Also Embedded Below)

If It Prints It Ships 3d Printing and the Postal Service

Discovered via Hacker News

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.