Print our own furniture?
After reading an article on the Dutch Cowgirl site, about 3D printing, I wonder what the potential of this device is in the future.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a 3D printer that will be able to print everything you need? You’ll have a factory of our own and make customized products yourself. The only thing you would need to do is to design or download a model from the Internet and press play. You could make your own clothes and recycle them the day after! Like these shoes, terribly ugly but might be the future.
If this would be our future, our whole economy will change. The production and distribution chains and some industries we know today, will become useless.
Although current prices don’t allow us to buy 3d printers, that doesn’t say anything about the future. Like most technology, these prices will decline. But besides the affordability for consumers, would we want to buy it?
One big benefit is that we won’t rely on manufacturing companies to build the product. Also there will be endless opportunities and lots of instant gratification.
Still, I consider this scenario one big fantasy. We won’t be able to find a balance in time, money, convenience, and quality. After all, a wide variety of products we might consider producing ourselves are available in stores for less expensive prices. So, instead of spending a lot of time on producing your product, you might as well get it at the store. Another major obstacle are materials. Today’s products contain plastic, metal, glass, wood, printed circuit boards, wiring and LCD displays. But what if we’d want to make a lamp, TV remote control, audio speaker or can opener. The chance that a single, low-cost device could produce these products is very small.
I understand why it seems the perfect gadget, but doubt if this fantasy will ever become real.