When I announced yesterday that the release of an important new invention in 2015 would be accompanied by posting downloadable 3D printer files for parts used in the invention, I was surprised to see some of the reader questions. (See that article here.) Many readers were wondering how they were going to print these 3D objects if they don’t have a 3D printer.
The answer to that question is that 3D printers are on course to become as commonplace as desktop computers today. Nearly every modern household will likely have one within a few years, and the idea of “printing out” small objects that you need around the house or office will become commonplace.
For example, instead of running to the hardware store to buy a wildly overpriced T-connector for a drip irrigation line in your back yard, you’ll simply fire up your 3D printer, select the T-connector object from a menu, and click PRINT. A few minutes later — and for about a nickel’s worth of PLA material — you’ll have your part! (You also don’t need to drive your 2,000 lb. car to the hardware store just to buy a piece of plastic that weighs a few grams.)by