“Ah, so you’re in the printing industry? I know a little bit about that myself.
“3D printing, that’s the future, isn’t it? In a few years, we’ll all be able to print out pretty much anything we want. Fascinating, isn’t it?”
I’d found myself chatting to a newcomer down at Smokey Joe’s Small Business Bar who went by the name of Rufus.
He seemed to be an enthusiastic upcoming entrepreneur who clearly had a beady eye on the future.
“Yes, I’ve been thinking of getting a 3D printer myself at some point this year,” he went on.
“They’re certainly coming down in price, aren’t they? Seems like the right moment to jump aboard and see what all the fuss is about. I’m hoping that I won’t ever have to buy anything else in my life. I’ll just design and print everything I ever need. Hey, I don’t suppose you can print out new employees, can you? That might shave a few dollars off my business outgoings.”
There certainly seems to be a fair amount of excitement and expectation surrounding the dawn of a new era of 3D Printing.
But before we all get too excited, maybe it’s time to slow down and pause for breath.
Could it be that the age of everyday 3D Printing at home or in the office is much further away than we’ve been led to believe?
If you’re completely new to the concept, I should just quickly explain that 3D Printing is a groundbreaking process in which the printer will ‘read’ your design blueprints and use this information to create actual physical objects.
The printer then ‘builds’ your design from the bottom up, by gradually depositing razor-thin layers of plastic in all the right places until the finished 3D shape finally emerges.
That’s the theory in very simplified terms. Let’s not get too technical here on the Martin Print Blog, I’ll be in danger of giving everyone a headache. Myself included.
But now that the prices of these 3D printers look set to drop to a reasonably affordable level in the very near future, is it possible that 3D Printing is now on the verge of becoming a truly mainstream activity?
Will we all be designing and creating our very own wondrous 3D creations in just a few years from now?