Brenda Cooper

3D Printing: Are we moving into a design economy?

My latest futurismic column explores 3D printing.  I’m convinced this is a wild card technology.  That is, most people don’t actually see it coming, or understand its potential to change our world.  Yet the current uses and capabilities are growing exponentially.  If “fabbing” (as some aficionados call it) grows as fast as PC capability grew, and the cost falls as far as fast, then in ten years a friend might send me the design for new earrings for my birthday and I can feed them to my fab machine, and wear them to work.  I might print my coffee cups, or my shoes.  And when I’m done with the shoes, maybe I can throw them in the deconstruction bin and reuse the materials for something a little more current. 

It’s not unthinkable that poor schools in Africa will be able to print computers and clothes, and maybe mosquito nets.

Or that….

What do you think?