Best Argument: Revolution
Audience Favored: Revolution (58%)
3D printing will change us
Lyndsey Gilpin: 3D printing is going to change the world. 3D printing will change us: the way we prepare food, how we replace broken objects, how we exchange gifts, how we play with our children. It will affect our power consumption, our time management, our imagination. It will also radically change every industry we interact with: uutomotive, food, medical, aerospace, manufacturing, and shipping.
3D printing has been around since the 1980s, but its moment in the sun is just beginning. We haven't even scratched the surface of 3D printers' potential in the industrial and consumer worlds. As innovators push the limits of this technology by using open source design platforms, crowdfunding campaigns, energy efficient models and creative materials, the industry will only grow more rapidly. The real questions are whether society is ready for the change -- and if the laws can keep up with it.
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Missing a number of core features
Charlie Osborne: 3D printing is no doubt a technology which can benefit a number of industries, including manufacturing and healthcare. The technology has sparked the imagination of people in the consumer space -- the hefty investment of a tiny $299 home 3D printer on Kickstarter recently supporting this -- but in the end, it is missing a number of core features to truly make it "revolutionary."
Not only is additive manufacturing still expensive and generally complicated, but it is missing user-friendly software that will introduce it properly in to the consumer space. While images of 3D printed guns make us think "Wow! I can do that!," it is not going to decentralize manufacturing, create a second manufacturing revolution or make sure we are all touting our own plastic weaponry any time soon.
3D printing is valuable, but not easy. You need training, technological acumen and money behind you to enjoy it at home. We're not going to wake up one day and be able to print off our own clothes and tools quickly and cheaply, and so 3D printing, to be of any use in business, will stay fixed in the manufacturing space rather than truly ever enter the consumer realm.