3-D Printing Will Change Everything

The future is going to be stranger than you think if the world economy doesn’t collapse due to the stupidity of our leaders. Because, in the not too distant future, you will be able to get things made to order, from clothes to goods at a local shop instead of from a manufacturer. In fact, big box stores will be a thing of the past. Everything you need will be obtainable from a local store. And then, not long after that, things can be made to order in your home like something out of a Star Trek replicator. The technology is called 3-D printing and it’s already here.

The day may come soon when even buildings are made by printers.

3-D Printing will be able to make almost anything on demand, which will save untold billions in transportation, shipping, manufacturing costs. Of course it will radically change society and eliminate jobs on an insane scale. However, this transitional. The transition will be a nightmare, but the end result will be a world where everything is much cheaper to obtain. And people will be able to have things more easily. Waste can be reprocessed into the materials for the printers, so recycling will actually be efficient. It would make for a radically greener world economy, as many harmful mining, manufacturing and processing done today would no longer be needed.

There could also be major negative impacts as the world economy is changed. That’s the scary part. But at the rate were’s going now, the world economy is going to change in any event. At least things like this and nano-tech offers a real hope for the future.

In my graphic novel Aftermath I talk about “grown buildings” which are buildings assembled by nano-robots from raw materials, grown to the specifications programmed into those robots by the architect. Printed buildings are a cruder method, but just as science-fictioney, except they are already testing this right now.

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    • Yes, I didn’t mention it because it’s further down the road. But that movie the 5th Element had a scene where a machine makes a girl (Leeloo) out of a dna blueprint, which would be similar to such a machine in the future. They have been able to get stem cells to make eyeballs and ears and so on. It’s just a matter of time.

  1. “The transition will be a nightmare, but the end result will be a world where everything is much cheaper to obtain.”

    Phase transitions are always a short-term nightmare. The Industrial Revolution mired a generation in poverty, misery, and “dark satanic mills,” but once society had adjusted, things quickly got better for everyone and stayed that way. (But the “Sabot”-eurs have not gone away, and the Progressives will doubtless be doing everything they can to make sure “not one person loses their job to a machine.”)
    I recently read “The Escape From Poverty and Premature Death,” and there is a jaw-dropping graph on one page charting the change in expected lifespan. It sort of wanders along with a very gradual upslant, for thousands of years…then it hits the Industrial Revolution, where it makes a near vertical turn and starts shooting upward (it looks like Mann’s “hockey stick”). It’s only just recently begun to tail off (we’ve picked the low hanging fruit, and will need more difficult technologies to extend lifespans further). I don’t expect to see huge extensions in lifespan soon (I think apoptosis will be a tough nut to crack), but I *do* expect to see huge improvements in quality of life through to the end of lifespan. We may still die at 90 or 100, but we’ll have perfect hearing and eyesight, “good as new” replacement joints, stronger bones, tighter skin, etc.

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