Feeds

3D printing: 'Third industrial revolution' or a load of old cobblers?

A solution looking for a problem, naysayers moan

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Feature Readers of The Register with their fingers on the throbbing technopulse of innovation will have noticed that - if the hype is anything to go by - 3D printing is about to redefine paradigms, rewrite/defenestrate/burn textbooks and give the unwashed masses the power to print iPhone covers at will, thereby shaking the whole notion of industrial manufacturing to its very foundations.

Lest there be any doubt that the technology is the future right now, if not sooner, we recently received a press release with a faint whiff of joss-stick trumpeting three forthcoming "design jams" organised by London Creative and Digital Fusion, and designed to "help create innovative ideas to enhance cities and the lives of their residents".

London Digital and Creative Fusion's Andrew Sirs-Davies said: "3D printing is at the forefront of what people are increasingly describing as the third industrial revolution."

Whether or not the 3D printer is the spinning jenny of the 21st century remains to be seen, but it's currently parading atop a bandwagon onto which world+dog are eager to jump.

A quick trawl of El Reg's recent 3D output reveals that Dixons, HP, McDonalds and Microsoft are keen to get their necks into the trough.

Hungry channel suits have been advised to fill their bellies at the 3D buffet, while across the Pond, US outfit Makerbot is eyeing a world domination plan to get its "Replicator 2" into schools, in order to "change the whole paradigm of how our children will see innovation and manufacturing in America".

All well and good, although the current state of small "domestic" 3D printers shows there's a way to go before you can print out granny's titanium hip replacement in your bedroom.

Nonetheless, there's a plethora of people hoping to convince punters they really can't live without their very own home manufacturing unit. For example, try the $395 Portabee GO thermoplastic extrusion device, described as "portable, sleek and robust":

The Portabee Go

Down at Kickstarter, meanwhile, Rinnovated Design recently raised a whopping $651,000 to fund the $100 Peachy Printer, described as "the world's cheapest".

Youtube Video

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.