Have you ever dreamed of instantly building a new computer the minute you finish your research?
Right now you have to wait for parts to ship, but that may not be a problem in the near future.
Advances in the field of 3D printing may make this dream scenario a reality sooner than you think.
As printing technology improves, the potential application in the tech industry is vast. The early use of 3D printing to manufacture plastics has had tremendous impact on computer parts, such as keycaps.
Some 3D printer owners are already creating their own keycaps and refining the process, but 3D printing is also reaching into other plastic parts for computers, such as video card holders and microphone stands.
It’s Not Just for Plastic
3D printing isn’t just revolutionizing the production of plastics. Recent improvements to 3D printers are making it possible for users to print with other materials, such as silver.
As the technology advances into new materials, it will become easier to print everything needed for a computer, meaning consumers may potentially rely less on manufacturers in the future.
If printing your own computer seems like something far off in the future, guess again. Two young entrepreneurs are already selling the plans and pieces you will need to create your own laptop from a 3D printer at home.
While the laptop may not be able to run all your games in hi-definition, it’s definitely the first step toward creating your own computer from home.
As this technology continues to advance, the ability to print your own materials will reduce the cost of computer parts due to a lower manufacturing cost. 3D printing your own computer parts will also reduce the wait times for pieces after release, also helping to eliminate shipping costs.
Printers that use metals are still relatively new and expensive, but as the process continues to improve, prices will drop like other printers – making them affordable to every household.
3D Printing is More Accessible
One early problem with 3D printers is that they have been expensive to make and purchase, but the parts for a 3D printer are quickly becoming cheaper and more accessible, meaning that the technology may spread into many homes in the near future.
While you can buy a printer for a few hundred dollars, some intrepid DIY-ers have been able to build 3D printers out of old computer parts for about $60.
Even consumers without 3D printers will see the benefit of these printers once manufacturers begin to use this technology to reduce the costs and wait times on their products.
While printing a whole computer at home may still be a long shot, the improvements in 3D printing technology are impressive and it will be an interesting trend to observe as the processes and printers continue to be refined.
What are your thoughts on 3D printing? How would you like to see them change the tech industry?