A few weeks ago we had the nice people from The Airship stop by to talk about the ins and outs of 3D printing. There’s a lot of hype around it right now, some of which we were sad to dispel, and some we were happy to encourage. You can see the full article here.
We’re always happy to talk with people about the realities and hype surrounding 3D printing and digital manufacturing. So many news outlets speak about it as a magical technology that will save all of us, without actually diving into the realities and challenges of working with a rapidly emerging technology. Here are some of our favorite quotes from the article:
In fact, NASA has already invested a great deal of money into researching how to print food in space. For now, this remains a hopeful dream, like many of the other predictions about 3D printing. (“We’re not there yet” is a phrase Austin and Blair repeated throughout our discussion.) Because of such hype, it’s difficult to stay grounded in the practical realities of 3D printing and how these might affect our lives. So let’s cut the bullshit. Let’s see where 3D printing actually stands today and where it’s likely to go tomorrow.
The game-changer with 3D printing is the growing democratization of manufacturing — and this is not something you necessarily have to look into the future for. It’s happening right now with companies like 3D NYC Lab, which works with clients of all sizes to create products on a smaller scale than larger conventional manufacturers.
Sometimes it’s difficult to stay present with technology that’s seemingly so futuristic. The most amazing aspect of 3D printing isn’t that tomorrow we’ll be printing our dinners in outer space (we won’t be), but that it’s given us license to dream so wildly. 3D printers are unlikely to become a household appliance in the near future or ever (after all, how many people today own regular printers?), but they are sure to continue inspiring creativity and innovation. 3D printers are, as Steve Jobs might say, a bicycle for the mind.
Well said, Freddie. Well said.