PASADENA, Calif. — Sometimes a particular piece of plastic is just what you need. You have lost the battery cover to your cellphone, perhaps. Or your daughter needs to have the golden princess doll she saw on television. Now.
In a few years, it will be possible to make these items yourself. You will be able to download three-dimensional plans online, then push Print. Hours later, a solid object will be ready to remove from your printer.
Oh how I want this!
Ever since I read a book called FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication by Neil Gershenfeld, I’ve wanted one.
– Don’t like the style of your PDA? Design its own casing!
– Need a stylus but it’s late at night and all stores are closed? Print one out!
– Need a weird shape for a patch job? Bingo!
And those are just prosaic examples off the top of my wee mind. I’m sure you out there can think of many more.
What I look forward to are — and here I coin a new term! — FABlogs, which feature patterns you can download and print out! Those who are adept at sculpting, 3D design, and modeling are going to be the Next Big Geeks. This will also give a new meaning to P2P — from Peer-to-Peer to Pattern-to-Print!
This is going to be so damned exciting!
TED Talks Neil Gershenfeld: The beckoning promise of personal fabrication — embedded video
Neil Gershenfeld home page
PERSONAL FABRICATION: A Talk with Neil Gershenfeld [7.23.03]
ITConversations: Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms
Previously in this blog:
This Is What The Future Looked Like — And Will Look Like From NOW ON!
Philip K. Dick Called It A Printer