With every passing month, 3D printers get cheaper. I predict that prices will soon be low enough that the technology will become ubiquitous. Soon everyone will be able to micro-manufacture at home.
When we hit the tipping point for 3D printers and everyone can manufacture whatever small objects they want at home, how will anyone make money with new creations? Simple. We need an app store for 3D computer models. When a Maker creates something new, she can upload her design to the 3D design store. People can browse new designs and purchase those models for printing at home.
Let's assume we are living in this near future with home micromanufacturing and I want to host a Halloween party. I can run to the store and buy Halloween themed plastic cups which look like everyone else's Halloween plastic cups, or I can download a fantastic, cool design from the 3D store and print out unique plastic cups for my guests. I can do the same thing with forks, knives, spoons, plates and all the other disposal accouterments required for a party. All I need is time and enough "ink" for my 3D printer.
The key to success for this store will be to identify and feature quality 3D artists and to offer them a decent royalty for their designs. That means developing strong ties with artists/designers in the sizable (and growing) Maker movement. These intrepid individuals are modifying, tinkering and inventing some of the most impressive creations you'll see anywhere.
As always, you are free to develop this idea and make millions of dollars. All I ask is that you do the right thing and throw me a small piece of the action.
If you have questions about this free idea, send me an email louis (at) r2computing.com
R-Squared Computing | Lou RG | Nearly Free IT | Firm Wisdom
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