Dear 3D community. I have no experience in 3D printing, but I follow the media and there has been so much spin on the topic, so I thought I will bring up this, perhaps not the most popular, opinion:
Media is all about 3D print revolution and the motto “3D printer in every home” seems to be the leitmotif today. However, beside medical and industrial application and, perhaps some makers, I haven’t seen anything interesting printed on a 3D printer at home by anybody yet. I mean there are all those complicated figures, but they seem to be a waste of plastic, because they are useless. This includes demos of the 3D printer manufacturers - all they make, as a demo is just a bunch of complicated, but useless bullshit. I went, of course, through the community page, to see what people are making, but I see the same - discussions on new printers, examples of industrial and medical uses, and half of the makers, it seems, are trying to justify the investment in to a 3D printer, by printing stuff, that was never a problem to make before this technology came along.
I remember some years ago, when Makerbot was just starting, one of the creators, I think was giving an interview on how how 3D printing will revolutionise the world and his example was something like, if a shower curtain hook breaks, you can just go ahead and print a new one. Excuse me, investing couple of grand into something, that I can buy in package of 20 for a buck, does not seem that revolutionary to me. He didn’t give further examples.
The pic below depicts TechCrunch’s, a media property mostly concerned with tech, a 3D printed figurine of one of their editor. Now, this picture is fresh - end of May 2013 fresh. What is the point of all this? When I was a kid, my Soviet made cheap plastic toy solders looked better, and were cheaper, than this. And please don’t tell me it’s not the same, because this is not assembly line product, because it hardly looks like a human, let alone some specific person.
Don’t take me wrong, I believe sooner or later 3D printing will become part of everyday life, but now does not seem to be the time for mass adoption and general domestic use.
My question finally: Am I missing something? If I do, please recommend me where to start if I do.
P.S. - I am not willing to invest in to a 3D printer just to be able to print cases for my Arduino projects - this is complete bullshit, because anyone can make those cases themselves or adapt existing ones.
P.P.S. - I am sorry for the long post - this topic has stuck in my head for a long time. I am not trolling, I am honestly curious and 3D printing community seems like a proper place to ask. Please don’t take it personally - I am not attacking 3D printing, I hope this community doesn’t have annoying mindless fanboys, that see no reason behind their favorite brand / tech / race / religion / lifestyle / whatever else fanatics pick as the target of their adoration.