I like the thought of 3D printing, I just don’t see the utility or potential application on a wide scale currently to warrant the hype.
It is an inevitability that it will achieve mass adoption eventually. The ability to print products having bought a design online is one which is full of promise but in reality far harder to implement. Their are a tremendous confluence of factors that must be achieve in order to realise that dream. Can the printer handle the required materials for the job? Will the products be of sufficient quality? There are just too many unanswered questions.
My love of the technology comes from the opposite direction. Where commerce see’s products, I see people.
We look at 3D printing as an additive process which builds up products like traditional printing, only with depths and thickness of material instead of ink on a sheet of paper.
But 3D printing can be far more. It can grow to save tremendous amounts of wasted time. A product who’s utility is productivity or simplification of a tedious task always has an opportunity. That is how 3D printing must evolve, at least in the short term, to become and remain relevant.
My 18 year old sister spent 3 hours getting ready for a nightout for her 18th birthday last week.
And this is an empirical problem. In an image obsessed world people are expected to look their best all the time, so this investment of time can never be considered a waste.
If you look good, you feel good.
But I just feel like people for the most part would prefer to spend those hours doing other things. Why couldn’t a 3D printer apply makeup in 1/100th the time it take a human to apply makeup?
I realise the cost of 3D printing technology can be prohibitively expensive, but this is an issue made for the technology. Looks could be selected and virtually tested through an app then applied in seconds.
Even better, augmented reality could provide us with what the application would look like applied to actual faces, exactly like a Snapchat filter.
Even if the cost of the unit exceeded £400.00, it would only take 50 days for the cost to have been paid back in terms of labour cost for applying your own makeup (average of 30 minutes per day x minimum wage).
It could be a revolutionary product.
And that is the opportunity that 3D printing offers that people miss.
It’s ability to replace arbitrary human tasks by completing tasks that take hours in minutes