Michael Overstreet has written his thoughts on the future of robotics as affected by 3D printing on i.Materialise. He believes that 3D printing should encourage rapid creation of new forms of robotics over the next few years.
Clearly, the first and most obvious point is that robotic models and associated ideas are accessible via internet and free to print and build robots from. Many models can be used as a starting point for future innovative variants.
Iteration with 3d printing is becoming a very powerful development tool in the field of robotics. People should not underestimate how powerful iteration is in the creation, prototyping and development of a robotics platform. It all comes down to the time savings you get from the printing step of a new part or an upgrade to an existing part.
We agree with this and suggest that it's reflective of the savings found by major industries using 3D printing. The technology vastly simplifies the development of prototypes.
Which is what robotic inventors do.