3D printing: a new standard of living or just a hype?
Imagine visiting your sister and you accidently break her Eiffel tower souvenir she got a long time ago from her summer love. She’s angry at you! You want to give her a new one, but you can’t just fly back to Paris to get a cheap souvenir… Well, this might not be a problem anymore. It is now possible to find the 3D printing files for that item and print it with your new high tech 3D printer! Voila, a new Eiffel tower souvenir, identical to the one your sister had.
This is a really strange scenario, but became reality actually. And in the near future we might even be able to print out more and larger objects, like furniture and such. It depends on the development of this new 3D printing technology. (http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/06/there-is-no-reason-for-any-individual-to-have-a-3d-printer-in-their-home/ )
Quite funny is that on kickstarter (mentioned earlier in class by ToW groups) there are quite some projects going on regarding 3D printers. ( http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/formlabs/form-1-an-affordable-professional-3d-printer )
This development might be a real outcome for current issues and needs in the world, on the other hand it might also bring new (negative) issues and problems into our world.
The most discussed topic regarding 3D printing technology is the ability to print guns. Many say that it is possible to print guns, but due their material it will be unable to shoot. Others state that they printed a gun that actually shot bullets! ( http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2012/10/its-all-fun-and-games-until-someone-3d-prints-a-gun/ , http://webwereld.nl/analyse/111578/open-source-project-maakt-zelfgeprinte-vuurwapens.html )
Personally I have no idea what to think of this new technology and if (and how) we will use this in the future. Will it be a temporary hype? Printing random objects for fun and just because we can do it? Or will we actually replace some basic objects by printing it ourselves instead of buying it in the stores?
What do you think the future of 3D printing will be?