Gary Stix, writes a great counterpoint to the hype over the 3D revolution. But there’s a problem with it and I’m going to sum it up this way:
3D printers don’t make sense in my current view of the world.
See what I did there, with the italics? I completely agree with Mr Stix. In the current reality that we operate under, formed plastic doesn’t make much more than toys. But Plastic is far more versatile than we tend to give it credit for. The reason we relegate plastic to the “Tchotchke” category is because it is cheap to make.
So easy in fact that 3D printers will allow us to rethink what we use plastic for. I can tell you right off the bat that LEGO and Mattel are going to see a drop in revenue over the next decade.
But beyond toys, 3D printing (as it is today) still isn’t what the revolution is all about. When we start to move beyond just plastics and start to incorporate other CAM type manufacturing into the desktop workbench we’ll really see things change.
Plus the 3D printing revolution isn’t just about what an individual can make, it’s about what they can *prototype* because once you prototype something you can manufacture it anywhere in the world out of any material for much lower costs than you could before.