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Futurist: 3D Printing Will Pave the Way for a New Era of Manufacturing

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apresher
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New Era of Manufacturing
apresher   2/19/2013 8:18:52 AM
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The flaw in Frey's thinking, at least for me, is the divide especially as a manufacturing goal of high volume, low cost products versus offerings that are hyper-individualized and hyper-customizable.  There is definitely a need for the latter but that step adds intervening intelligence, time and expense. Not sure that will pave the way for a new era in manufacturing except in low quantity items where the value of the customization is high.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Where's my flying car?
Ann R. Thryft   2/19/2013 3:16:30 PM
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It's easy to make fun of futurists. They often get things wrong. But I agree with Cabe: there are many technologies that have taken markets and industries by surprise. Not only the cell phone itself, but the technologies developed for it, or adapted to that platform, that have then influenced lots of other industries. The cell phone camera is a good example: the huge volumes have influence faster development of CMOS image sensors and driven performance up and prices down. This has, in turn, affected the entire machine vision industry.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Where's my flying car?
Ann R. Thryft   2/19/2013 3:17:27 PM
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Here's an article I did for UBM's Future Cities website on various forms of 3D printing/AM for houses and other buildings:

http://www.ubmfuturecities.com/author.asp?section_id=262&doc_id=523906

Some of these techniques are being used right now. There's no reason they're likely to be any less structurally sound than an aircraft wing component built with 3D/AM techniques.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Where's my flying car?
Ann R. Thryft   2/19/2013 3:18:16 PM
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Professional investors, in the form of venture capitalists, do indeed listen to futurists. At least, they do here in Silicon Valley. That doesn't mean they follow them to the letter. But they do pay attention and take what they say into account, because some futurists have a handle on some trends. If you've ever listened to some venture capitalists talk about their investments, you'd think some of them were futurists.

 

NadineJ
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Re: Where's my flying car?
NadineJ   2/19/2013 3:57:01 PM
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This isn't a list of trends.  It's a wish list.

We won't see any true "trends" in 3D printing until the gilt wears off.  Everyone is too enamored with the process right now.  It's skewing the coverage and what's being called "trend".

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Where's my flying car?
Cabe Atwell   2/19/2013 4:50:08 PM
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Nadine,

I just had a product idea of mine 3D printed. It works great, and only cost me a hand full of dollars. To have the same part machined would have cost me upward of $500+ dollars. I think the trend is here to stay, and it will only get better.

C

Charles Murray
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Re: Where's my flying car?
Charles Murray   2/19/2013 8:28:36 PM
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Dave, I agree wholeheartedly. Predicting the future is a game. And the end result is often wrong. I have a book in my basement called "The Road to 2015," which was written about 15 years ago. A lot of the predictions in it appear as if they will be wrong, largely because the big trends of the future tend to emerge with astounding force and speed. The Internet is one such example. Few futurists saw it coming. PCs are another. For decades, futurists saw computers as devices using huge monolithic boards populated by discrete components. Almost no one saw the microprocessor coming, which is why Popular Science once predicted, "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." (Actually they were right about that, in a way.) Still predicting the future is always fun.

Charles Murray
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Re: General Workforce Trends
Charles Murray   2/19/2013 8:32:52 PM
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I agree, Greg. The "projects" prediction is pretty safe because, as you point out, it's already happening. I've already worked way more jobs than my father did. And my kids will work far more jobs than I will.  

Charles Murray
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Working at home
Charles Murray   2/19/2013 8:38:38 PM
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I'll also make a prediction here that the futurist didn't make. In the future, I think the population will move to less populated states (Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada), largely because they'll be able to. Future jobs won't require employees to live in huge population centers (for example, Chicago, New York or LA) mainly because of Internet, telepresence and avatar-type robots, which will enable the employee to live in more spacious, less costly locales.

Dave Palmer
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Re: Working at home
Dave Palmer   2/19/2013 9:19:56 PM
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@Charles: You're assuming people want to live in Wyoming or Idaho. Maybe some do, but speaking for myself, and having tried both, I'd much rather live in an urban area than a rural area.

In fact, I live in the Chicago metro area and commute to a less densely-populated area (southeastern Wisconsin) for work. It would be cheaper to live in Wisconsin, but I'd rather live as close to Chicago as possible. Admittedly, I grew up there, so I may be biased. But don't assume that the only reason people live in urban areas is for work.

Futurists have been predicting that everyone will soon be working from home for the past three decades or so now. I don't think it will ever go too much beyond where it is now. There is just no substitute for actually being there, talking to people in person, and getting your hands dirty. We can't all be drone pilots.

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