SCALE: const of 3D printing
Posted Mar 2, 2013 1:16 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata
Parent article: SCALE: 3D printing and the early days of Linux
the cost of the plastic filament used for printing has shot up considerably—primarily because investors in the plastics futures market saw the rise of
3D printing coming and bought into it to turn a profit.
That's not how futures markets work. If the price of the filament shot up it's because the supply didn't increase as quickly as the demand. The fact that some futures investors made a profit only means that some time in the past, they correctly predicted this disparity while producers of the filament predicted the opposite.
What apparently happened is that some investors last year bought up all the plastic the manufacturers could make this year at e.g. $10 per unit. The manufacturers figured it would sell for about that this year, because it did last year, so they sold it. But demand shot up and folks are now offering $20/unit, and since the investors own all the plastic, they'll get that and make a profit. But if the investors hadn't bought it, the manufacturers would still be making the same amount and they would be getting the $20/unit and making the profit.
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