Alexandra Lange compares the sewing machine to the 3D printer and finds the new technology lacking, and explains why it will never be a consumer good "until it learns a few lessons from why we sew now."
So far, 3D printing's DIY aspects seem more akin to the "magic" of an ant farm, watching growth behind glass. Sewing lets the maker find their own materials, and get involved with every aspect of the process. 3D printing could do this, and there are classes, but even at the Makerbot showroom the primary interaction seemed to be ordering from Thingiverse. My local sewing shop has to teach more women to sew to survive; I don't see the printer makers coming to the same conclusion.
Lange is not impressed with the patterns that are available for 3D printing, the lifecycle of the machine, the cost of a spool of plastic or the waste. But mostly, she complains about the stuff that comes out of it.
What does it really teach your children when you can get doll house furniture on demand, except a desire for ever-more-instant gratification?
Read it all in Dezeen.
Our TreeHugger version of this discussion in Related Links below.