The answer is, sadly… no.
At least not yet. I’m sure it’s not too long before you can 3D print with precious metals and jewelers can create one of a kind designs with platinum or gold. But that’s just it. Once it’s created, it can be scanned and recreated. I mean, like, THAT DAY.
Is that luxury?
I’ve always said that true luxury has something to do with craftsmanship, and a promise of longevity. Part of luxury comes from trust, and a feeling of a future relationship…like that brand or product will be around for awhile to share with the next generation. 3D printing is the opposite of that, especially at the moment. The industry is about to turn Earth on its ear. There is some seriously sci-fi stuff happening daily. Most of it only makes the news when it’s cute, or a gun. Or food. However, that is the small potatoes.
Just like software 25 years ago, the real magic is happening in dark little rooms and basements and labs around the world. But unlike software, there is so much more to 3D printing than just ones and zeros. And the people who are learning and experimenting are fearless and flexible and believe there are no rules. So, there isn’t! They are finding a way to do things that until someone did the thing before the other thing would have been inconceivable!
Follow me so far?
Anyway, the real reason for this article… I’ve been offered a front seat in the nose cone of the rocket-ship. One of the best known names in the 3D printing industry has named a company called Image Transforms to be the distributor of their world class 3D printers, accessories and products across the ASEAN region. And Image Transforms has tapped me to lead the charge. I am now the Director of 3D Printing Solutions for the entire ASEAN region.
This means I will have a VIP pass to all the changes and amazing technological advances that occur in the industry, and be able to (hopefully) analyze them, add a few smart-ass comments and put them in easily digestible form here on 3DPrint.com. This should make it easy to keep up with some important parts of the industry, and give you insight beyond prostheses for stray dogs and do-it-yourself “Stormtrooper” costumes. Both of which are important (and one of which I have hanging in my closet), but neither of which is AS important as the ability to 3D print the frame of an aorta and then populating it with live stem cells which will create actual human tissue to repair a heart. Or take an X-ray of a damaged part of the space shuttle and be able to find the fault allowing for the printing of a new one IN SPACE.
So, While it is probably true that 3D printing isn’t luxury, it is going to get a luxury guy trying to make sense of it, and writing about it here. So check in from time to time, and I’ll tell you what’s happening. I’d appreciate your input about the impact of 3D printing on your community, and opinions about my writing, the industry or the world at large, but save the equipment/tech stuff for the forums.