Shoestring startups, small businesses and garage tinkerers are the latest enthusiastic users of low-cost 3D printing technology, which is proving transformative at a new level in the U.S. economy, said Zach Kaplan, CEO of Chicago-based Inventables. His company used to only work with well-financed R&D departments, but because of today's lower costs and enhanced technologies, even smaller manufacturing businesses are benefiting from 3D printing.

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