Feeds

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

A solution looking for a problem, naysayers moan

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
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

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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.