Disney and the company’s research facility in Pittsburgh are creating something pretty extraordinary with 3D printers. They call it “printed optics” and it fits into their future of electronics that are created on the spot to fit the immediate needs of the situation.
Scott Summit, co-founder of Bespoke Innovations, has made a career out of 3D printing. He recently designed a guitar that he then sent off to 3D Systems to have printed. Would $3,000 worth of plastic make a guitar? He didn’t expect it to, but was surprised to find that the plastic guitar sounded pretty good.
Printing off a kidney or another human organ may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but with the advancements in 3D printing technology, the idea may not be so far-fetched.
You're about to hear a lot more from the media about the transformative power of 3-D printing, and a lot of it will focus on this 3-D-printing-at-home movement. But what does it really mean? What does it say about the future? Will this shift help or hurt the current industry leaders?
It won’t be long before a felon, unable to buy a gun legally, can print one at home. Teenagers could make them in their bedroom while their parents think they are “playing on their computer.” A fully functional gun, where the schematic is downloaded free from the Internet and built on a 3-D printer, all with the click of a button.
The 3-D printer craze has taken off with everyone from hobbyists and amateur gunsmiths to giant corporations. Less known is how the U.S. military has caught the desktop manufacturing bug too, and is designing printable components for bomb detectors and prototype limbs. Even more radical: The Army has even gone so far to deploy a helicopter-borne 3D-printing laboratory to Afghanistan.
What’s to keep 3D printer manufacturers from programming their printers to do something similar to what the paper printers have been made to do? What if they go further and install specific limitations on their printers so that they can’t print certain forbidden objects? What if your MakerBot sent an alert to HQ if you tried to print a gun, or what if it returned a copyright infringement error if you tried to print a Nike swoosh? I’m sure IP attorneys would lobby for it.
Products and Designs
Don’t let unruly wires get between you and your music. Pod à porter is an easy way to wear your music, and it’s now available for the iPod shuffle 4th generation.
This project started as a thought piece around printed consumer electronics and the idea that they could be as easy to turn into working product as they are to print. The person that prints a working version of these headphones deserves a medal!