What if I told you that in the comfort of your own home, you could design an outfit you intend to wear to a fancy dinner function put the specification into your computer and print it out from your home just in time for that event that same day?
What if I told you that technology is available and is very close to being mass produced? Would you believe me?
As a kid, I remember watching Star Trek and there was this particular machine in the cafeteria, where customers would simply input their choice and it would make it on the spot. The ingredients would materialize out of thin air and assemble into the desired meal. Whilst this is a bit far fetched, similar is already happening. This company is selling a machine that promises similar.
All this is possible because of what is known as 3-D Printing.
What is 3-D printing you may ask?
3-D printing according to 3D PRINTING.com is “a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.”
This is achieved when the desired object is rendered in a virtual space through the use of specialized software, which enables the 3-D construct to be brought to life.
Many have lamented for years that the American manufacturing industry is on the decline, with jobs rapidly being shipped overseas and many industries closing in the wake of that. But don’t hit the death knell just yet; 3-D printing seems to be giving a lot of people hope for the future. Some have gone as far as saying that this will be the next big industrial boom. The one that will not have to bring back the lost jobs, but rather create new ones that will have an impact on an economy that desperately needs said jobs.
The applications and uses for this technology is mind blowing, with it being applicable to pretty much every sphere of life. Take for instance the health industry, the ramifications are astounding. Pardon me for using so many superlatives in succession, but this really has the ability to change life as we know it. But I digress, imagine a world where organs could be designed to match those in need, pretty much making things like organ donors irrelevant. No longer would people have to suffer for lack of finding the right organs or donors, when their needs could be addressed with a 3-D printer. Some are even speculating that this could prolong our lives if we are able to design perfect organs to work with our bodies; optimized to ensure that they don’t break down over time.
How many times have we bought an outfit online only to realize it doesn’t fit? With 3-d printing, anybody can make their outfits and the neat part is those clothes will always fit. Why? Because you design to your specifications. All you need do is input your measurements and what type of outfit you are trying to create. According to this article, the hours spent behind sewing machines will also decrease drastically. 3-D printers will take out all the effort, all we have to do is sit back and let the machine do its thing.
Could 3-d printing even solve global hunger? It’s possible. With a dearth of materials in certain places affected by famine, a 3-d printer could be the solution. We know it only requires certain materials to function. With limited resources, much can be created and effectively. Unfortunately, most of the 3-d printed food coming out still hasn’t solved the taste conundrum. But with so much time and effort going into this technology, that issue will definitely be addressed.
In conclusion there’s a lot to look forward to. As the world population continues to balloon and resources continue to decline at an alarming rate. 3-d printing offers a solution, whereas each individual is responsible for their livelihood. Everything from the cars we drive, to the houses we live in may eventually be created by a 3-d printer. The more proliferated the technology is, the cheaper it will be for the consumer. In the end, everyone wins. This is a band wagon you want to hop on.
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The 3D-Printed Car That Will Drive Across the Country. (n.d.). Popular Mechanics. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/industry/urbee-2-the-3d-printed-car-that-will-drive-across-the-country-16119485
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The World’s First Lab-Grown Meat Burger Tastes Terrible (Surprise!). (n.d.). Gizmodo. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://gizmodo.com/the-worlds-first-lab-grown-meat-burger-tastes-terrible-1027385867
Kurutz, S. (2013, December 14). Taking Fashion to a New Dimension. The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/fashion/3D-Printing-Clothing-fashion.html?_r=2&
3-D Printing: What You Need to Know About the Next Industrial Revolution. (n.d.). Inc.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.inc.com/aaron-aders/3d-printing-the-next-industrial-revolution.html
What is 3D printing? – Explanations – How it works – Industrial – Personal – 3D Printing. (n.d.). What is 3D printing? – Explanations – How it works – Industrial – Personal – 3D Printing. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/
Star Trek Replicator Nearing Reality?. (n.d.). StarTrek.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.startrek.com/article/star-trek-replicator-nearing-reality