The steam engine. The power of electricity. The computer. All of these inventions and discoveries have revolutionized the way we interact with the world around us. They have made our lives infinitely easier and better than in our past. The internet itself has brought the world together while letting us access knowledge with a push of the button.
Believe it or not, we are on the cusp of perfecting something that is bigger than the internet. Something that will change the world from top to bottom. Not only will it close the poverty gap, but save lives. Once perfected, it will provide a utility to every single person on this planet. Everyone from doctors to rebels fighting against a heavily armed, tyrannical government.
I am talking about 3D printing.
Excuse me for sounding like 3D printing gives me such a Large Hadron Collider in my pants, but it does. While doing the research for this article I was anywhere from half-staffed to fully erect. Maybe that is an exaggeration, but my brain definitely had a hard on for what I was reading. I honestly believe that most of the world’s problems can be solved by 3D printing on a massive scale.
Utilizing this technology allows us to build almost anything. Companies are using it to build things from little ceramic cups to prosthetic ears. It works by creating three-dimensional objects from a digital model. These objects can be made from a variety of substances like plastics, ceramics and living cells.
Helping the Poor
While some of the printers cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can obtain one for under $2,000. Through the use of these printers, people will be able to create everyday objects for pennies on the dollar. Instead of driving to WalMart to replace a broken cup, you could download an object online and print it out. No, not everyone will buy a printer, but everyone will know someone who has one.
More helpful than printing your own little trinkets is how the technology will affect the car industry. A 3D printed car has already been created and printed. While not everyone will be able to print out their own car, the way it is created should drive down costs. Instead of shipping things from different factories, the parts for the car are all made at one location. According to the engineer behind the car, it was built to last for 30 years.
Do you know what is going to blow your brain out the back of your skull?
Some printers can print with living cells. As amazing and invaluable to the medical industry as this is, what is really amazing is the idea of printable meat. Yes, there is a company called Modern Meadow that is working to bring 3D printed meat and leather goods to the market at a cheaper cost. Less worries about food shortages in developing countries. Less land being destroyed by cattle farming. These are the types of things 3D printing can bring us.
The Medical Industry
In the future we will not have to wait for an organ donor. A lab technician will use a 3D printer that can print stem cells to make you a new organ. Scientists in the UK recently discovered how to print with living stem cells. This advance ends the controversy of harvesting stem cells from abortions. It will help create a market for organ transplants. Maybe it will even end the organ harvesting on the black market.
What is also exciting, albeit selfish, is how this can affect our party life. No more worrying about that seventeenth shot of Jager at the bar or how your liver hurts after a night of drinking. No more worrying about smoking giving you lung cancer. For a bit of money you can just have a new one printed out.
3D Printing Punks
There are several more aspects to the technology that will directly affect us. There is a lot of freedom to be had from 3D printing. Things that will help us to become more self-sufficient. Things that will lessen the government’s hold on us.