“A chicken in every pot and a car in every backyard to boot” was the Republican party’s campaign slogan in 1928. It was a promise of prosperity in exchange for a vote for Hoover, but was unfortunately followed by the Great Depression.
People were extremely excited about 3D printers when they first became commercially available, and many manufacturers were hoping to bring 3D printers into everyone’s home.
However, 3D printers are not in everyone’s home, and even today there are some chicken-less pots and empty garages. The two examples are obviously quite different, but what they do have in common is excitement, promise, and disappointment.
There was a lot of hype over 3D printers when they first started to become commercially available. People were convinced that home 3D printers were sure to be the next big thing, and that manufacturing would suffer because people would buy fewer goods and just print them from the comfort of their own living room.
3D printers aren’t mainstays in the living room or garage yet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that 3D printers were a flop.
In fact many manufacturers are making use of additive manufacturing technology because of the customization, versatility, and innovation that 3D printing allows.
Like all technology, 3D printers are becoming more affordable and more capable every single day.
3D printers are sometimes likened to computers. The first crop of personal computers were big, expensive, and they couldn’t really do a whole lot. However, as time went on, the technology improved, and consumer interest increased, the price of computers has gone down, computer capabilities have gone up, and there’s a computer in practically every home, and nearly every pocket.
It’s conceivable that 3D printers will one day be as common as personal computers, and it’s interesting to think about how printers will affect manufacturing. 3D printers are already being implemented by manufacturers, but will there be a day when consumers stop buying goods and instead simply print them at home?
There isn’t a huge demand for personal 3D printers at the moment, but that’s not to say that there won’t be one in the future.