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Ready for ‘prosumer’ 3-D printing? CES says it’s coming soon to stores

Since the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show is still going on, we're keeping track of a couple key tech areas there.

One is 3-D printing. Our recent story on Spokesman.com featured efforts by one company here, Proto Technologies, to provide 3-D prototyping; and another firm, Zak Designs, to move into the area of using 3-D printing to cut operating costs.

This summary, from Time online, summarized some of the notable 3-D developments in Las Vegas this week:

While 3-D has not caught on in TVs, there’s real interest in 3-D when it comes to printers. We will see 3-D printers as low as $499 at CES, and many in the $999-$1,299 range for what you might call a “prosumer” who’s interested in 3-D printing. Although these will really still be used for consumer experimentation, I see them as important tools for flattening out the learning curve within the prosumer and professional markets. I kind of liken the introduction of low-cost 3-D printers to the early days of desktop publishing when it came on the scene in the mid-’80s. Just as desktop publishing revolutionized the publishing world, 3-D printing could create new forms of printing, like becoming an important tool for prototype visualization and small-scale manufacturing projects. If you’re at CES, be sure to check out these lower-cost 3-D printers to see what they can do.

Group against Spokane Tribe casino project launches website

A month ago we wrote about efforts by some West Plains business owners and others in opposition to a proposed Spokane Indian casino and resort.

The group, Citizens Against Casino Expansion, have launched a website to focus their concerns about the project, which they say has potential negative effects on Airway Heights and Fairchild Air Force Base.

Irv Zakheim, owner of Zak Designs, is heading the group. Among concerns, the group says the area already has a casino, the Northern Quest Resort and Casino, in Airway Heights. It was opened by the Kalispel Tribe.

The Spokane Tribe's project would be on land a few miles away. The Airway Heights City Council have started the process of annexing the 145 acres owned by the Spokane Tribe.

The opposition site is www.citizensagainstcasinos.com.

“This project is bad for the West Plains, bad for the future of Fairchild Air Force Base and could lead to more off-reservation gaming in our state. Our group plans to fight it aggressively and we’re inviting citizens to get involved. The community has a voice in this process and we can tell the BIA we don’t want it," Zakheim wrote in a press release.

The Spokane Tribe says the project would provide significant numbers of new jobs and would provide economic stimulus both for Airway Heights and for tribal members. It's also had officials review the project and have been told the development poses no direct problems for the air base.

Before the casino can move forward the Spokanes first need federal approval, followed by approval by the governor's office.