Anil Dash On Where 3D Printing Is Headed

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Former TreeHugger Prez Ken said a few months ago: "3D printing right now feels like computers did in the late seventies, an explosion of creativity and building in garages and basements, just waiting for the killer app." But Cory at boingboing points to a post by Anil Dash that makes some very good points about what it will take to get it out of the garage. Some of the most interesting:

Stop Making Altairs, the first successful kit computer.

Today, most 3D printing hardware feels closer to a kit that needs to be assembled than it does to a finished product, and even though you can order pre-assembled devices, the fit-and-finish of the hardware hasn't made the leap that Apple did between the Apple I and the Apple II. I'm sure this will happen soon, but it's the biggest obstacle to wider adoption of 3D printing.

A Service, not an Ink Scam. Dash bemoans the state of 2D printing, and warns the 3D industry not to follow in its footsteps.

Most interestingly, He thinks the next big thing might be to market it as a teleporter.

Every 3D printer should seamlessly integrate a 3D scanner, even if it makes the device cost much more. The reason is simple: If you set the expectation that every device can both input and output 3D objects, you provide the necessary fundamentals for network effects to take off amongst creators. But no, these devices are not "3D fax machines". What you've actually made, when you have an internet-connected device that can both send and receive 3D-printed objects, is a teleporter.

Read it all at Anil Dash: A blog about Making Culture

See all of our posts on Dematerialization

Tags: Dematerialization | Downloadable Design