What will be the next big thing? Will big data analytics take off, and will 3D printing arrive with a bevy of legal and ethical issues? Zack Whittaker listed 10 tech predictions for 2013 on ZDNet, including "Augmented reality will become reality with Google Glass", "Apple TV could revitalize slumping television market", "hacktivism will hit a new level", "Big data will get bigger and better", "Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) will soar in the workplace", "Tech giants will shift to China, other BRIC countries for recovery" etc. Among the 10 predictions 3D printing is listed at the first place:
3D printing will go mainstream, printing at home?
It's Star Trek technology or primitive replicators coming to our century. Printing was, for years, limited to the business environment. Eventually it arrived in homes to consumer users. But, the next step in printing comes in three-dimensions -- 3D printing -- giving users the ability to 'print' (with lasers and computer-aided cutting machines) items for machines, computers, and even body parts.
It will only be a matter of time before home users will be able to download schematics and blueprints from the Web and create their own products from their home office as the technology becomes more simplified.
It's a distance away yet, but 2013 will see a dramatic rise in the 3D printing sector, along with the associated ethical issues with it. Should you be able to print a firearm at home? Should 3D printers be used with stem cells to build body parts? And should the schematics or blueprints be offered through 'pirate' sites? Where there will be 3D printing, there will likely be strict regulation.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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