Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Businesses Technology Build

The 3D Economy — What Happens When Everyone Prints Their Own Shoes? 400

cold fjord writes: "According to Reason, 'Last May, Cody Wilson produced an ingeniously brief but nuanced manifesto about individual liberty in the age of the ever-encroaching techno-state-a single shot fired by a plastic pistol fabricated on a leased 3D printer. While Wilson dubbed his gun The Liberator, his interests and concerns are broader than merely protecting the Second Amendment. ... Wilson is ultimately aiming for the 'transcendence of the state.' And yet because of the nature of his invention, many observers reacted to his message as reductively as can be: 'OMG, guns!'... But if armies of Davids really want to transcend the state, there are even stronger weapons at their disposal: toothbrush holders, wall vases, bottle openers, shower caddies, and tape dispensers. ... In many ways, it's even harder to imagine a city of, say, 50,000 without big-box retailers than it is to imagine it without a daily newspaper. So perhaps 3D printing won't alter our old habits that substantially. We'll demand locally made kitchen mops, but we'll still get them at Target. We'll acquire a taste for craft automobile tires, but we'll obtain them from some third party that specializes in their production. Commercial transactions will still occur. But if history is any guide, more and more of us will soon be engaging in all sorts of other behaviors too. Making our own goods. Sharing, swapping, and engaging in peer-to-peer commerce. Appropriating the ideas and designs of others and applying them to our own ends.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The 3D Economy — What Happens When Everyone Prints Their Own Shoes?

Comments Filter:
  • Stupidity (Score:5, Informative)

    by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Saturday March 29, 2014 @03:20PM (#46610847)

    Thanks for all the stuff, Foxconn, but we get our gadgets from Pirate Bay and MEGA now.

    I really hate these kinds of articles. Foxconn mainly makes electronics like iPhones. There is no way to 3D print an iPhone. The glass can not be printed, The circuit boards can not be printed. The chips can not be printed. Lets get down to reality. 3D printing can make plastic objects and metal objects from a very limited range of material. Most objects we buy use other materials. Where they work they work very well but there are more things than can not be 3D printed than can. Many items that can be 3D printed are still much more economical to produce using conventional methods. For example a stainless steel mixing bowl can be 3D printed but it would take quite a while on a very expensive printer to make one and then would need to be polished. Using presses one could stamp out hundreds in the same time. Just because one can does not mean it is economical.

    This whole "3D printing will change the world" meme is just stupid. Will some things change? Sure. Will a significant portion of manufacturing change? Not likely.

  • Re:eye glasses (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday March 29, 2014 @03:37PM (#46610931) Homepage

    It's amazing that one company has been able to obtain 80% market share in eyeglass frames in the US. It's not like they're hard to make. Frames start at $0.60 on Alibaba.

    For really cheap glasses, you make them round. Ordinary lenses have three parameters - spherical radius, cylindrical radius, and cylinder axis. For round lenses, only the first two matter; the third is determined when the lens goes into the frame. So there's a briefcase-sized kit used in India with a set of standard round lenses moulded from polycabonate, standard round frames, an adjustable temporary frame for the eye exam, an eye chart, and a little gadget to notch the lenses to keep them from rotating once the desired cylinder axis is determined.

  • by drkim ( 1559875 ) on Saturday March 29, 2014 @04:31PM (#46611285)

    Unless 3D printers can start molding metals, rubber, paint, and various other base materials then this is a non-issue.

    They are already doing this - just not at the 'home' level...

    Alumide, Steel, Sterling Silver, Brass, Full Color Sandstone, Ceramics... []

  • Re:Shortsightedness (Score:4, Informative)

    by 50000BTU_barbecue ( 588132 ) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:31AM (#46613307) Journal
    K Eric Drexler wrote The Engines of Creation in 1986. Whatever you think is called "nanotechnology" today isn't even close to what is described in that book.

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.