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?

3 responses to “3D printing: a new standard of living or just a hype?”

  1. 346132ke says :

    Nice article! I think the technology is quite far at the moment. We have seen all sorts of things being printed with a 3D printer, from a pencil to a car and the possibilities are unimaginable. At the moment these prints are primarily done by companies and not by costumers but with prices dropping and the technology improving fast it’s just a matter of time that we print those things out ourselves. Imagine being hungry and you aren’t in the mood to go shopping. What do you do? You just print your food.. It’s all possible. I also think that having a printer like that at home will make people more creative because they can be designers themselves. So I personally think that 3D printing will get huge and within 10 years every one of us has one at home. But these technologies also have downsides and with the rise of 3D printing security risks also become higher as you mentioned with the printer being able to print a gun. Not only that, there is a possibility to also print out drugs. This could be beneficial if it only were used by researchers for medical purposes but if the printer is being used to print out drug for own consummation that really could be a threat for public health. Every technology comes with positive things and also has negative downsides and we are not sure yet how negative the downsides will be. So we could only wait and see what happens. With great power comes great responsibility they say and hopefully everyone that has access to this technology uses this wisely and only to improve their quality of life. And when in need of another 3D printer we just hit the print button and there you go we have another printer at home.

  2. decywu says :

    You know you’re replying on a 2 year-old topic? 😉

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