Imagine a situation where you need something urgently; anything from medication, to the last piece of your model car that you can’t find anywhere (you swear it came in the box). Now imagine, you can Google a formula that allows you to print your missing piece on your desktop. Sounds revolutionary, doesn’t it? These printables are also fully customizable, so whether your dosage is 500mg or 1000, or whether you have the 13’ model Ford T or the 15’, you can print either one with the same formula and a few simple modifications.
The argument has been made that our lifetime’s revolution has already happened. It’s called the ‘information age’. But I disagree. When you peer into history, it’s clear to see that revolutions happen with a change in production, a change that is forever, irreversible, and makes things better. The information age, to date, has only changed our distribution practices. We are now able to shop from our couch, bedroom, toilet (I know you do it!) but we still have to wait for the goods to arrive at our doorstep. Production is still a remote process, and customization is rare, other than colour and sizing choices. With the rise of the 3D printer, and growing accessibility to it (see Makerbot) production is set for a major disruption.
We have become spoiled in knowing that our possibilities are endless, and the 3D printer is putting our money where our mouths are. Customization is the key. We are all striving to be the most individualistic individuals out there, but it’s impossible when we are limited to shopping at the same hundreds or thousands of retailers. Soon we will be the creators, and specialization will be the selling point. Who wouldn’t want to create things that are made by you, for you? It gives us the ability to customize anything, and that is the new industrial revolution.
Inspired by the ideas in Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson
Danielle is the Digital Account Manager at 88 Creative. Follow her on Twitter at @DFabes