Interesting story from i.Materialise, where Joris explains that some two years ago, a tripod lever was catastrophically damaged. Rather than buying a new tripod and unable to acquire a replacement lever, they decided to “eat their own dog food” by designing and printing a replacement part.
A suitable design was prepared and the lever was printed in Alumide, a semi-metallic compound that provides sufficient strength for this application. The part has apparently survived to this day.
This seems like the obvious solution for a company that makes a living printing parts, but you wonder about the mental transition everyone must make into a world where objects can be readily made. People tend to cling to old views: I need to read the PAPER newspaper; Music comes on CDs; Things come from the store. No longer true. But old habits persist. How long will it take for the general population to go first to the 3D printer for things, versus heading out to the store?