The next time you have a car part that breaks, think of the auto parts store of the future. Instead of heading to the store and having the clerk comb through large boxes of inventory while using antiquated computer programs, there will be new solutions.
Let’s say your ashtray breaks.
We should be able to go online and find the ashtray you need. You then send it to a 3D Printing bureau. (It could even be within an auto parts or hardware store). You click a mouse and one prints for you, for delivery and pickup.
What if you can’t find the design online?
In most cars, you have more of than one ashtray. You will take out a 3D Scanner and scan one of the existing ashtrays. Or glue your broken ashtray together long enough to get a a few photos.
What if you don’t have a 3D Scanner? That is kind of like not having a bar code reader. Your phone’s camera will act as one eventually. In the meantime, there are many plug in scanners you can attach to your phone, ranging in price from thousands of dollars down to $100!
One you get a scan (it only takes a minute) you can send it to a printer. The printer can be on your desktop, at the local store, online at a service bureau or in a foreign country!
Imagine the convenience for the customer. Imagine the lack of inventory the store needs….the store can print on demand. We aren’t far from the auto firms certifying their images so that (e.g.) only “original Honda parts are used.”
In short, the scanner will be connected to your phone. Later, the scanner will BE your phone. The printer can be anywhere and the manufacturers get their cut.