Could 3D Printing Change the World?

Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of hype and progress in the field of 3D printing.  In this year’s CES more consumer models were announced and the missing link of consumer based CAD appliances where announced where users can scan items in 3D from their homes and replicate using a printer.  This month however 3D domination moved even closer to mainstream as 3DLT (a Cincinnati based company) announced it was in talks with Amazon to provide 3D printed items on the site. You may be thinking what is so special about 3D printing, however this could be a similar evolution that CDs took, when music moved from physical to download and now streaming.  Today most low value synthetic items are produced in mass and shipped half way around the world and sold in various outlets.  Imagine the stage 1 evolution where a shop would no longer need to hold any inventory or even ship from abroad as they could print replacement stock overnight?  How about a stage 2 where a consumer could then buy a design on the internet and print products from home?  From a planet perspective, the reduction in raw materials, pollution and CO2 from travel would be immense, however from a producer perspective and jobs it would catastrophic.  This will however be the future so it will be just a question of when rather than if.

3D Printing

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Author: Steve Wakefield

Steve Wakefield is an experienced Innovator presently based in London.

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