Over at ZeroHedge, John Aziz spots a piece of technology that might carry human beings past the dependency on the oil-fueled global shipping trade and radically redefine the means of production. The 3D printer—a small personal, programmable factory—has the potential to “rewrite the rules of manufacturing in much the same way as the rise of personal computing discombobulated the traditional world of computing.”By allowing a person or family to produce their own tools, kitchen appliances, and even automobiles, a 3D printer in every home would have sweeping consequences for the 21st century. Aziz emphasizes how a Makerbot Industry would decentralize manufacturing as well as energy generation:
Having access to a robust and independent energy supply and home-manufacturing facilities would be very empowering for individuals and local communities and allow a higher degree of independence from governments and corporations.Home-based microgrids can allow the autonomous and decentralised powering and recharging of not just home appliances like cooking equipment, computers, 3D printers, lights, and food growing equipment, but also electric vehicles and mobile communications equipment. Home-based 3D printing can allow for autonomous and decentralised design and manufacturing of useful tools and equipment.
The machines are still in their infancy, and they remain too expensive to inundate the market this Christmas season. But sooner or later your next car or laptop might not be assembled in China, an ocean away —it will be in the garage, by your trusty Thing-O-Matic.