Golly, that weapon, women's underwear, a very fancy car....
Browsing, clicking links, collecting information, impressions, and the very latest news, I learned about the new possibilities, and yiii -- the hazards.
3D printers are energy hogs, we have been told by the highly respected researchers at England's Loughborough University, and MIT. 3D printers consume 50 to 100 times more electrical energy than "injection molding" that can make an item of the same weight -- it's better to use 3D for "small batch" runs.
3Ders create health risks, said the researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The emissions from desktop 3D printers are similar to burning a cigarette, or cooking on a gas or electric stove. Depending on the filament that's used, the printer emits 20 billion to 200 billion ultrafine particles that you're breathing in -- that can settle in your lungs.
Filaments -- a big topic -- depending on what you're making. The ABS plastic filament that's usually used, is unrecyclable -- like grocery bags and bottles that are already filling our landfills. Other filaments -- PLA or PBA -- are biodegradable, but much more expensive. If 3D printing is going to be industrialized, the filament needs to be recyclable.
Right now, digital piracy of movies, music, and literature is a big unsolved issue. Gun control is a huge issue -- 3D printed guns are being created with no restrictions. Safety equipment such as helmets, wheels for bikes, and toys for small children is ballooning into a monster problem. If someone kills someone with a gun, stabs with 3D printed knife, or breaks their neck while riding on a bike with a 3D printed helmet, who is accountable? The owner of the printer, the manufacturer of the printer, or the person who made it and used an untested product?
Also kitchenware -- utensils -- 3D printers have spaces where bacteria can grow that cannot be cleaned. There's going to be a need of a FDA approved machine.
Right now there are a lot of scary, amazing, and miraculous things to think about, like transplanting hearts, prosthetic limbs -- like printing money, liquor, beer, and robots. I can't really believe that all this can be done, but yes, yes, yes -- it can be done, and it will change our lives.
The world of 3D printing may be the next bubble -- the next very big thing that needs to be controlled before it overwhelms us. Wow. I am overwhelmed, big eyed, astounded.