Originally Posted by rbeach84
What exactly (if anything) is being envisioned for these to useful in the home? I cannot think of anything (other than models, aka display pieces) that could be 3D printed and be robust enough for routine use. Many products incorporate plastic components, but few are made entirely of plastic. Perhaps more so to allow for 3d capture of forms that are then printed as masters for other tooling (such as custom, form fit shoes...)
Speaking of which, how far away is the day you walk into a store, disrobe, get scanned and then robots quickly make you a wardrobe using styles you select from a catalog?
Some of these make ready to use gears, which could be used for toys. Prototyping and proof of concept would mean that instead of pitching an idea for an object, you show a working model. I think they will be very useful, and have already seen rapid prototyping done. A Company in Connecticut manufactures and sells a well established machine for around $7000 and you will not find one used, such is their demand. These do not make brittle facsimile's of parts. They can make, depending on the material used, a finished product. As to what that product is, is only limited by the imagination. This is done in metal and replacement finer bones is one area of investigation. By using metal powder, the powder is heated and melted into one piece. These will be everywhere and change the nature of production.