3D printing, coming to a home near you


For those of you who read my blog about the Buy Yorkshire Conferenceyou will know that some of the evolutionary technologies discussed at the event really got me thinking about the future, and in particular about the many opportunities for innovation that will be created by 3D printing.

The thoughts from the event were that although these technologies, including 3D print, were great, they were still some way off being given approval for general release, so you will understand my excitement when I find that as reported in The Drum yesterday, Maplin have launched a machine known as the K8200 kit that can be purchased by the general public.

Now, in most instances this is the point where we have to take a step back and remember that although it is available that doesn’t mean that it is affordable however Maplin have said that the machine takes up to 10 hours to construct, which in turns lowers its cost, and can create any plastic model within 30 minutes, fitting to its scale of 20cm3. The idea over time is that children will be playing with this rather than computer games!

Never mind the children, what about agencies? Doesn’t this present the opportunity to be even more creative and to make scale model products to show the client rather than presenting pretty pictures? I’m not sure how realistic this is but it’s got to get you thinking, right?

How exciting would it be to show off your 3D printer by creating unique products for a campaign. I wonder how long it will be before we move on from ‘printing’ with plastic and start to use other materials. Could you 3D print something that was edible on a mass scale for example – now that would be impressive.

It will be interesting to see how many people make the purchase and if the company’s theories are correct. I know what I would be putting on my Christmas list if I had one.