Printing the Future: volume One - The Trickling of Success.
When futuristic products/technology come into the hands of consumers, it has often spent time in the hands of the military and/or internally at big companies. It’s also likely that these groups were directly involved in its creation for their own intentions. Over time, those very exciting technologies, make their way down the latter, and into the hands of the rich, prosumers, consumers, and every day people.
So a few years back Apple unveiled its unibody MacBooks. Since then, I have seen a handful of examples of similar tech used in other places(including that amazing video at The Verge on Microsoft’s printing lab).
At first i couldnt help but get excited about having my very own 3D printer to make my very own action figures. But time has given me a chance to think, and my brain once again is excited for the possibilities for the future. After seeing that video on the verge, I knew I had to speak my mind and troll the Internet for people’s opinions.
I’ve seen the way people interact and associate with big business change over the last few years. No longer does it stand for quality or integrity. More and more small business’s and home grown operations are the places people turn to for an experience they feel is more authentic and worth while. People want to see where their food comes from, they want to have custom designed/original furniture, and they want to support their local hangout/coffee shop. The Internet age has given rise the a world where everyone has that same cool thing you have, and it’s on their Facebook too. people interested in being the first one to own something cool. They also want to be the one who recognized it. We are socially defined by what we own and how we display it. Our clothes, or phones, our tables, and pens all represent a little of who we are, and thanks to the age of Internet, how we come across to others. I agree that those feelings have existed prior to the Internet, but with all the outlets in which we receive information, concepts of personal branding are finding their way into all different walks of life. The concept of originality is likely to still be very integral for the constantly evolving definition of cool.
Which brings me back full circle to 3D printers. Imagine a world where Black and Decker no longer sold you a power drill. They Came up with the concept, designed the device, and provided you a CAD File. After downloading, the file is sent to your 3D printer and out pops your brand new drill for your dad’s Christmas gift. How simple and efficient. The same would work with most house hold products. Tables, chairs, utensils, Tupperware, the ideas are endless. People could choose to buy design templates from their favourite brand or decide to develope their own using completely new designs, or incorporating basic fundamental designs(computer internals, motors, gears,) with their own personal designs and/or adjustments.
You could print a variety of different camera bodies and mounts for each different filming situations or print your child’s first bike. The real point I want to be making is that physical objects will be made by us at home. Electronic internals, I assume, will become simpler and more universal, enabling us to print those as well.
Where does this leave companies like black and deckar or best buy when we make it, or design it ourselves?