Our Future in 3D [Print]

3D Printing on YouTube
3D Printing on YouTube

\nMy good friend Dan recently shared this incredible video about 3D Printing. I am familiar with 3D printing—in fact my engagement ring was made possible through the use of a 3D printer—but I had never stopped to think about the possibilities. What really amazed me was that this printer can create moving parts. Genius!\n\nThey mention space in the video and I can only imagine that astronauts must need to pack every tool imaginable in case of potential problems while in space. With a printer like this all they would need is a computer file and if need be they could print the tool on demand. Not only is that a space saver but such a sense of security as well.\n\nNow all I want to do is own a 3D printer. I am told that this sounds something like the Makers from the futuristic comic Transmetropolitan:\n\nMakers are great. No argument. You turn to your maker and say, “Give me a roast dog leg, tossed salad, a black linen shirt, and a taser,” and bang, out it all comes. Makers aren’t particularly bulky, nor power-thirsty, and an average middle-class family can afford a good one.\n\nBut.\n\nMakers are designed to operate with base blocks—superdense chunks of neutral matter which the maker breaks down and recombines into whatever you’ve requested. And base blocks are horrendously expensive. Out of a middle class family’s price range. So the stores sell a converter that allows the maker to use ordinary garbage as the base. Not as efficient, and the mileage stinks, but there you go.\n\nWhich leads me to the city’s new pest. Middle class families raiding the backyards of the lower classes for garbage—because if you’ve got a maker, you don’t make garbage. Only those without makers buy prepackaged food and clothing… Transmetropolitan #2, “I Hate It Here”\n\n \n\nThe predicted future from a comic book could become our reality? Given a 3D printer can not produce a tossed salad, it still has a vast array of objects it can create.\n\nSo say that these printers become affordable and a part of our everyday life, like computers and cell phones; what will this mean for the brand names that manufacture the products we are now able to print at home? Will this push brands to create higher quality products? Will it force them to reduce their prices drastically? Perhaps their business will completely change and instead of selling us the finished product we will purchase Craftsman 3D printer files from their website, from the comfort of our own homes.\n\nAlso, imagine the reduction of waste if this printer material is recyclable. Or the impact this may have on the global economy and products imported from foreign countries. Could this be the next technology to change our everyday lives?

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