Anorak | No, We’re Not All Going To Get 3D Printers At Home

No, We’re Not All Going To Get 3D Printers At Home

by | 7th, January 2014

Tiny objects produced by a 3D printer sit on a table at the newly opened James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. The printer, an automated book retrieval system and walls that double as video screens are among the many innovations in the new, state-of-the-art facility.

GIVEN that some businesses are now successfully using 3 D printers there’s a bit of technophile crowing that the whole world is about to change. That we’ll all have one at home, producing anything and everything we want, and we’ll finally be clear of this capitalism shite and live forever in peace and harmony.

It’s true that certain businesses are indeed using them successfully :

British defence giant BAE Systems has become the latest company to take advantage of 3D printing technology to help manufacture components for fighter planes.

The company said on Sunday that a Tornado fighter jet fitted with parts that were printed in a machine, completed a successful test flight, potentially paving the way for the wider use of the technique in other manufacturing processes. The flight is significant as it is claimed to be the first made by a combat aircraft fitted with such parts.

Many experts are predicting that 3D printing will transform manufacturing and reduce the cost of making a range of products from advanced technology to plastic toys, with consumers able to make their own products at home on demand.

But there’s a very specific reason why this is successful. Two in fact.

The first is that this is a fighter plane. The sort of thing that we want to be available whenever and everyever. They’ve simply got to be able to fly when we need them. So, there’s a vast store of spare parts for them. You can, just about, go into

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Posted: 7th, January 2014 | In: Money, Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink