A possible culture shift created by 3D printing

January 21st, 2011 by | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Remember those days when we wanted to make copies of documents, we had to take them to an office center or the time before we many of us were born, documents were copied by hand.  Nowadays, we have little copy machines known as scanners in our homes.  CAD printers also known as 3D printers can be heading in that direction, as it was discussed in one of my courses’ lectures a week ago.  While today CAD printers are normally found only in factories and companies, imagine one day, being able to go on internet and purchase a product that can be printed from your CAD printer, or in other words, buy rights to print out the product a certain number of times.  We can print out toys, jewelry, chairs, crates, cups, plates, bowls, tables, lamp shades, bottles and etc.  The scenario can be very similar to purchasing music from iTunes, as we can purchase music on the internet and have them downloaded, or in other words, buy the rights to listen to music on our iPods instead of going out to the store to purchase CDs with music.  CAD printers can create a major shift in employment, economy and transportation.  Because manufacturing would be moved to the homes, the number of factories can dwindle.  The number of trucks, ships and railways exporting products would be reduced dramatically.  Because factories and transportation are both run by people, employment opportunities would be crushed.

On the other hand, CAD printers have major potentials in the medical industry.  They can print bones that can’t be made by humans as CAD printers can produce textures that are needed on the bones in order for tissues to be able to grow and attach to them.  They can print prosthesis limbs that would improve the lives of humans without limbs.  They can also print human tissue.

I await to see where CAD printers will lead us…

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