There is a Reason For Individuals To Have A 3D Printer In Their Home

By on October 17th, 2012 in Ideas


Jon Evans’ piece on TechCrunch entitled, “There Is No Reason For Any Individual To Have A 3D Printer In Their Home” explains just that. He believes the future of 3D printing (at least in the short term) lies in centralized services rather than personal devices. 
Other than “passionate artists/hobbyists and home manufacturing businesses” you won’t see any home 3D printers, apparently. 
In spite of improvements recently developed by many 3D printing companies there is some truth in this, given the relatively poor output quality and usage complexity of current personal 3D printers and the higher quality and varied materials offered by popular 3D print services.  
But if you view those issues in another way, it simply means that the set of things reliably producible on a personal 3D printer is less than “anything”. But it’s still something. And that “something” is useful to a percentage (albeit small) of the population. 
As the capabilities of personal 3D printers gradually increase, the utility of objects produced by them will correspondingly increase – and be useful to an increasing percentage of the population. 
One can always consider using a service, but presently those services are priced out of the general consumer market. Objects can (sometimes) be produced and shipped in a day, but the percentage of people that would pay the stated price for that service is quite small. Some may turn to a personal 3D printer to avoid that cost, particularly if multiple items are to be made and the quality and materials are sufficient. 
So yes, there are reasons for some (albeit few today) to own a personal 3D printer. But those reasons will gradually increase. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!