When The Real Desktop Printing Revolution Begins


This (via Hackaday) is how the real desktop printing revolution will begin... this and a cheap sub-$200 dollar machine that you can buy (just like a Cricut but for 3D printing) at target or walmart.

Most people aren't going to make their own 3D printers. But as soon as some entrepreneur makes the 3D-equivalent of the Cricut, toy companies will experience a sudden disruption to the toy markets when people start printing their own dart guns, frisbees, action figures, dolls, building bricks, and everything else our hearts desire.

Some smart companies will start selling and licensing toy and other templates for people to print out. Some will probably even start manufacturing their own affordable 3D printers using proprietary templates and material kits, enabling them to retain a little bit of the control they are used to. Regardless, free, cheap, and open templates will abound, rights-protected templates will become a commodity. A few template formats will surely emerge - probably OBJ.

As soon as there is a low cost commercial 3D printer. It'll probably take another 10-20 years to cycle through products that get some really high quality sophisticated print-and-paint 3D printouts at the affordable prices of the less polished earlier days.

That means that by the time I'm a grandpa, I can expect to have some fun making high quality desktop-printed original toys, models, and inventions with my kids and grandkids.
Todd Hopkinson