When you first heard about 3D printing did you have any idea what the future might hold? At first it’s pretty unbelievable and you maybe dismissed it, but once you seen what they could do there was maybe a possibility that bigger things were just around the corner. We’ve found out now that those bigger things are going to happen and when they do it could change a lot of lives, but what does this mean for the average person who maybe wants to sell the creations they make on a 3D printer? Are big things around the corner for them?
Apparently not and that’s a view shared by quite a lot of people. All these people who are going to be doing the weird and wonderful things will be nothing like your average person. They will be teams with plenty of money behind them. Me and you can only look forward to printing out silly little ornaments. If you really want to read about some of the reasons why 3D printing isn’t something the average person can look forward to then we’ll go over them now.
How much have you got?
All these teams doing amazing things will have more advanced printers because that’s what money affords you, whereas you will probably only be able to afford simple ones. When you only have a cheap 3D printer the kind of designs you come up with aren’t going to set the world on fire. They are just going to be your basic ornamental decorations. They will definitely seem cool in the beginning, but after a while they won’t seem special at all and the magic of 3D printing will be gone. That means you’re probably not going to come up with something that will make you rich.
Is your design complicated
You need to understand how it all works because it’s a lot different from manufacturing. When you print something out you’re essentially only paying for the ink. Now take into consideration that when something is more complicated it will use less ink because there will be more space between the parts. That means if you sold two of the exact same thing it would cost you more money to sell a basic version than a fancy one. If that’s the case, how much can you really sell the fancier design for? Nobody will get away with charging a lot once people realize they are being taken for a ride.
Scalability is bad
When you run a business the ultimate goal is to make more money each year. Nobody can deny that even if they try and convince you money isn’t important. If you’re sitting in your factory taking plenty of orders you could be getting so much in that you can’t keep up with them. You might even have to go out and buy new printers. The main issue here is that 3D printing is slow, whereas normal manufacturing is a lot quicker and you can have much more stuff made in less time. If you really want to scale your business which one would you choose?
Printing dangerous things
How much power can you really give someone? Should they be able to print out whatever they want because it’s their own printer? They might print bullets and those exact bullets could be used in a murder. What do you think will happen when the police can’t trace them because there’s nothing to trace? It’s even worse when you realize it’s also possible to print replica weapons that can be used to fire the bullets from. Do you honestly think anyone in the government is going to let that happen any time soon?
Todd Jones is the owner of a printing press company. His company also sells mat boards as a side business.