A lot of interesting notes in this PBS Off Book video about 3D printing. I had my first real experience with 3D printing at the end of last year and while the technology is still improving, what’s available already is pretty revolutionary. The idea that you can make something tangible out of a pre-conceived digital file of mere lines and measurements without actually having to contract model-makers, factories, etc. is cool in and of itself. Sure, it does away with a level of craftsmanship that 3D printing machines — for now at least — can’t really do on a consumer-creation level, but I only suspect that that will disappear as an issue over time.

For now, it’s exciting to see 3D printing take off in such affordable ways. There’s a portion of the video that talks about how this is going to start changing how companies stock products because essentially customers will be able to order any product and have a machine build it on the fly without that company ever having to stock it in a warehouse somewhere. That’s really going to mess with supply and demand huh.

3d-printing-PBS