14 responses

  1. palmytomo
    palmytomo
    April 29, 2014

    EXCELLENT article, Jason. I’m fascinated by the technology. You saved me hours of browsing and musing. I agree with your perceptions.
    – It’s is evolving so fast that I won’t buy one without sharing the cost and use. Remember, now we’re in a crowd-funded world that may eagerly fund the scanners and the software designers – to rapidly put labour into creating the software for a desired marvellous printable product, which obviously includes the next, better 3D printer.
    – I’d guess we’ll also see ‘hybrid’ products being printed – you print ‘most of’ the object, but you buy other bits: Print the quadcopter, but buy the motors cheap online.
    – I guess there’ll be several locations of the 3D printer…
    — industry (best, large & expensive, ultra-high definition printers with all materials
    — service shop (local) pooling the cost, and the obsolescence (auction it off each 6 mths?)
    — internet mail order (including both of the above)
    — home and office (I think the public will become ravenous for the not-yet-realized objects possible with quality printing: azure blue computer & matching TV & stereo, a baseball cap with HD webcam, mist-water flosser, graphene backpack, bicycle helmet with built-in superbright white & red lights.
    – Basically the world has just started to wake up to 3D printing. After the initial playful uses, there will be a host of vastly more useful objects printed.
    Bruce Thomson in New Zealand.

  2. Samuel Brooks
    April 29, 2014

    From the consumer 3D printing market, we should expect trinkets, part favors, quite a few vases, and lots of non-functional cars. You can see a collection of such non-useful 3D files at http://www.Redpah.com

  3. andy_spoo
    April 30, 2014

    You forgot another thing that will put people off, and that’s the smell of molten plastic. It’s not pleasant at all, and possibly carcinogenic.

    But otherwise, the biggest thing that will get 3D printing really going is piracy. It worked for PC’s, mp3 music, and old games computers. Once people are able to print out a copy of the latest ‘thing’ or integrate a scanner and a 3d printer at a cheap price, to copy an object of desire, then, everyone will want one.

  4. Mahmoud Amandine-Jade
    May 10, 2014

    Great article! As to Autodesk’s CEO argument that people will prefer to let the big companies (who happen to be his customers) with the big printing toys handle the task: that’s only true to an extent.

    In the long run, people will have nearly the same capabilities at home, and will always prefer to have their 3D prints as soon as possible – and not have to deal with an additional intermediary (the postal services). That’s something companies will never be able to provide.

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