Personal Fabrication Machines Make “Homemade” Digitally

Bill Decker, chairman of the Association of 3D Printing, observed that 3D printing will “democratize manufacturing,” but wondered whether “people really want these machines in their home for one-off projects.” Decker said consumers may balk at the “smell, mess, and fuss” of 3D printing at home, when they could send a 3D design to a local Staples or UPS store to be printed, and then pick up the finished product “just like we currently use print shops for business cards, brochures, and flyers,” a process Decker calls “3D printing on demand.” Organizations like New York-based Shapeways already provide such a service.

To Decker, “a mistake everyone is making is to think the consumer is the market to target.” Do-it-yourself 3D printing, cutting, and milling “makes sense on a boat, oil rig, or in the Third World where there is no delivery, product, or stores, ” he says, but what “is sexy to the consumer is the ability to scan or design a product to manufacture, use the power of the Internet to get it made, and then store the design in the cloud to use later from anywhere.”

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  1. […] Bill Decker, chairman of the Association of 3D Printing, observed that 3D printing will “democratize manufacturing,” but wondered whether “people really want these machines in their home for one-off projects.” Decker said consumers may balk at the “smell, mess, and… Read more › […]

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