Personal 3D Printer or 3D Printing service?Time Compression, Terry Wohler wrote a column entitled “Why You Won’t Have an AM Machine in Your Garage”
Here is some interesting excerpts
For many years, additive manufacturing (AM) industry insiders have speculated on the role the general public will play in the adoption of AM. Years ago, some people maintained that a home market will develop for AM machines, and this line of thinking has been renewed of late. They envision a day when the everyday consumer will manufacture a broken refrigerator handle on their in-home 3D printer. Maybe, but I doubt it very much. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: most households will not purchase and run a 3D printer to produce their own products or replacement parts”
“most people would not want to mess with an AM machine. If something breaks, they’ll go somewhere else to buy a new one”
“Increasingly, in the future, specialized parts will be produced by additive manufacturing, just not in the average person’s basement or garage”
“Another reason why most people will not be cranking out new products is this: Even if they had a 3D printer in their home, it probably would not offer the types of materials needed to produce what they need”
“how many people in an average household have the design skills needed to produce a quality product? Probably not many—if any. This is a skill that is developed over time and one that requires design software that is not necessarily easy to learn and use. One should not rule out, however, web-based interfaces that will allow a person to alter an existing object that virtually guarantees a reasonably good design”
What do you think?