The Democratization of Design

3D Printer Wins Best Emerging Tech at CES 2013

The 3D printer took home the award for Best Emerging Tech at the International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2013, the yearly tradeshow that highlights the latest and greatest in gadgets and technology. While 3D printing isn’t really new, the $1,299 price tag of new home printers makes it widely accessible for the first time. It’s a huge jump from six years ago, when the cheapest 3D printer on the market was $30,000 and most would set you back $100,000. Industry professionals are speculating 3D printing will become commonplace within the next five years.

The ubiquity of the 3D printer will spawn a new generation of designers who can conceive of a concept in the morning, input it into the computer, and have a physical product in the same day. The implications are manifold. It not only has the potential to unleash the untapped creative potential of a huge segment of the population, it could also change the face of production. The home 3D printer can conceivably mainstream the process of prototyping designs and selling them to consumers who can then print the product on their own.

How will the democratization of production inhibit or expand our ability to create meaning?

January 24, 2013 | No Comments (yet!)

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