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Tony Grist

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The Next Big Thing [Apr. 11th, 2014|11:09 am]
Tony Grist
I remember the first mobile phones. You'd see men- they were always men- strutting around with shoeboxes clamped to their ears and you'd think, "Drug Dealer!"

I  remember the first home computers. My girlfriend had one. I used to go to her house to play arcade games on it. I certainly never foresaw a time when I'd be doing, well, what I'm doing now.

The next big thing is the 3D printer. The technology exists. Printers are being used to make everything from guns to human organs. I don't know anyone who owns one yet, but I expect I soon will. I expect to own one myself. They're going to change the way we consume- and the way the world does business. You want some common household object- anything from a car to a washing-up brush; you no longer go to the shop or place an order online, you simply enter a code into your household printer and "voila!". I understand the first models are well within the budget of an average middle-class family- and the price keeps coming down.

We'll wonder how we ever managed without them.

[User Picture]From: porsupah
2014-04-11 01:05 pm (UTC)
I'm still not sure what to think. Right now, the technology's still pretty early, so as far as home printers go, it's mostly limited to various types of plastics, though ISTR there are some that can deposit certain metals or alloys. They're certainly highly useful in certain situations, like custom mechanical parts, and as you note, there are some promising nascent medical technologies - if we can reach the point of being able to simply manufacture replacement organs, that'd be a tremendous boon to thousands upon thousands of people worldwide. (Indeed, I'd be amazed if we don't, sooner or later. Then we get into the realm of replacements that are superior to the originals.. !)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-04-11 06:23 pm (UTC)
Things move fast. I remember a time when computers were great metallic things that filled whole rooms.

I understand the military are very interested in the technology.
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