Just read an article on The Age about how 3D printing is yet to really take off despite the hype. One theory is that the gap between the hype and the reality is currently just too big.
It reminded me of a previous discussion here on Workshop where people talked about how handy a 3D printer would be for printing your own parts, etc. I'm still curious whether people think one day every home will have a 3D printer, or whether its just too complex to ever be truly mainstream. And I'm still struggling to think of reasons why I would need one, which is probably the main reason 3D printers haven't taken off.
All I ever see is people using them to make figurines or chess pieces (or combinations of both). And the filament seems a bit expensive, particularly when you're just making plastic tat that would typically cost .00001 of a cent if mass produced in China.
Would be interested to see useful things that have been printed.
The real battlers and punters are the DIY consumers... no savings there for them...
Any 3D models without data or proofs are basically worthless!
I think 3D printing is still extremely early in the product life cycle curve - still in the nascent development phase. The growth will come later when the product itself is more mature and when the average punter can see enough applications for it in their life. I think it will be mainstream but not for a while. And as Chris alluded, the hardware isn't very useful to most people without very easy to use software.
Wow. I want a chocolate printer as well. You could make so many fantastic customised gifts for friends and family.
Units with a built-in 3D scanner as well as a 3D printer might help solve the problem of complicated software and requiring design skills.
But it looks like we're still a fair way away from Star Trek replicators if this review is anything to go by - http://www.theage.com.au/technology/gadgets-on-the-go/hands-on-aio-robotics-zeus-3d-printerscanner-2...