Want to turn your creative thinking about objects into a reality? Of course you do. What if you could just magic up a new button for the one that fell off your favourite shirt? What if you could invent a new way for carrying hot items in the kitchen? What if?
The rise of 3D printing holds a lot of promise for those of us who can focus and visualise what we might make. The idea of the replicator might have sparked the imaginations of Star Trek viewers or the Maker with ‘base block’ (recycled or otherwise) from Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan series could point to a home unit that can take spoken commands to create almost anything. But we’re a long way from this future, for now.
3D printing might not be available in all homes yet, but the latest desk-top 3D printers being us one step closer to the possibility of manufacturing more things for ourselves.
The process is not an easy one still, but some are more optimistic than others when it comes to future possibilities. Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired magazine recently left his editorial position to take up the position as CEO at 3D Robotics. Though the $5million+ investment in the company led by Jon Callaghan of True Ventures and Bryce Roberts at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures probably helped a lot, it’s Anderson’s belief in people’s own power to manufacture things for themselves that appears to have spurred on his change in career.
Anderson’s book, “Makers” also came out recently. It outlines ways in which people are making products for themselves already and 3D printing plays a big part in the inspiration for more people to get involved.
It’s smart to get in while the industry is on the uptick, but 3D printing has been around for some time and there’s a long way to go before domestic users will be able to think of something and print it off.