In the month of gift giving and holiday spirit, many of us are looking for inspiration. Inspiration for what gift to give, inspiration for the New Year and inspiration on what drives us in life. For many of us, what drives us is our family, our spirituality and/or our career. For Chuck Hill in 1986 it was developing and patenting the first commercial rapid prototyping allowing 3D objects to be printed.
Fast forward 30 years, what was once a rudimentary printing process, is exploding. In the month of thinking about our future or our business’ or product’s future, we can’t forget how this 3D printing technology and the technology of automation will change our lives in years to come.
Where is this technology now?
Already we are seeing that everything from chocolate & pizza, to medicine, to music instruments and even body parts being printed with this technology. For those Star Trek fans you’ll remember the futuristic gadget, the Star Trek food synthesizer, where with a press of a button your food magically appeared. The amazing thing is that we now are seeing early versions of the food synthesizer/replicator.
Nestle jumps on it
Nestle, the candy company, is spending big bucks on developing this technology so that they can create customized food, dependent on a person’s health. Emmanuel E. Baetge, chief of Nestle’s Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS), says that the machine would work like the Star Trek Replicator, to synthesize a meal. “Out comes your food at the press of a button,” Baetge said. “If we do this right, it can be the next microwave in your kitchen.”
First restaurant prints dinner
In London the world’s first 3-D Printing Restaurant, Food Ink, has opened. This one-of-a-kind restaurant experience, prints all their food. The unique experience doesn’t stop there. Everything from the furniture to the utensils are printed. This a conceptual pop-up dinner series is where fine cuisine meets art, philosophy and tomorrow’s technologies.
What does it mean for you and the future of your products?
In the immediate future, it may mean you will find a 3D jewelry gift for a loved one on Shapeways or use your own creativity to create your customized 3D printed chocolate. Continue to keep your eye out for ways you can use this technology in your business either as a differentiator or a way to customize a product for your customer.
3d printing is evolving fast and will likely change how we shop. There will be a whole new meaning to receiving a product instantly. In the future we may all have home replicators where in a click of a button, we will be printing everything from our meals, to our own medicine, to a life-saving kidney and of course during the holidays gifts for our friends and family.