On the way home from rugby training last week, I had an interesting conversation with my 13-year-old. It all stemmed from a simple question. When do you think teleporting will happen?
Coming from a science background myself, I would like to think his question came from his own inquisitiveness, but I think it was more to do with him wanting to get home quicker.
Whatever the case, it led to an interesting conversation. We both agreed that teleporting people may be quite a while off. However, the way things made and transported may be in for a radical shakeup if our conversation has anything to do with it.
If you google 3D printers for sale, there are nearly 28 million results. Currently you can buy an entry level 3D printer for $500, and while the types of materials you can easily print with are limited, they are growing at a rapid rate. It is now possible to print with carbon fibre, aluminium, titanium, and stainless steel.
Anyway, in our conversation we dreamed up what the future would be.
My son had recently purchased a new set of handlebars for his bike. He ordered it online and had to wait for about a week until it was shipped to him. For a 13-year-old, waiting is not something they like.
Instead of products being made offshore and then shipped around the world, more things would be made locally through what is called additive manufacturing. There would be ‘printing hubs’ that had industrial 3D printers that were capable of printing items in a range of different materials and specifications.