We’ve been contemplating acquiring a 3D printer at my university for pedagogical and research purposes. As part of this contemplation, I have had to learn more about the technology and uses of desktop manufacturing. And in doing this, I began thinking about how the diffusion and integration of 3D printing into everyday life could change our culture and society. If desktop publishing helped begin the prosumer revolution, then what could desktop manufacturing do to further this revolution, changing people’s identities of consumers of manufactured goods into producers of self-designed items.
Along those lines, since this is the week that kicks off the consumerism of the holidays, my latest article for Clearance Bin Review considers what is the future of consumerism should 3D printing merge with other upcoming technologies.