Earlier this week, Walt Disney International chairman Andy Bird predicted that there would be a 3D printer in every family’s home within the next decade.
Bird, who was speaking on the first day of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, said 3D printing technology remains on track to “revolutionize” the way the world works.
“Every home in ten years, probably less than that, will have its own 3D printer just as homes now have a 2D or laser printer,” he opined.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bird confirmed that Disney is currently examining various methods of utilizing 3D technology in its theme parks around the world.
“We’ll be working with the technology where you can easily capture the facial features of individual guests in a very fast way, so you can then turn those features and put them onto dolls,” he added.
“We’ve been doing that with Stars Wars whereby you can buy a Luke Skywalker doll that you can put your face onto.”
Joshua Pearce, an associate professor at Michigan Tech, expressed similar sentiments in a recent article covered on Bits & Pieces.
“For the average American consumer, 3D printing is ready for showtime,” Pearce explained. “3D printers [may] have been the purview of a relative few aficionados, but that is changing fast. The reason is financial: the typical family can already save a great deal of money by making things with a 3D printer instead of buying them off the shelf.”
As Pearce notes, open-source 3D printers for home use typically have price tags ranging from about $350 to $2,000.
“[Plus], you don’t need to be an engineer or a professional technician to set up a 3D printer,” said Pearce. “Some can be set up in under half an hour, and even the RepRap can be built in a weekend by a reasonably handy do-it-yourselfer.”
Pearce also emphasized that 3D printing likely heralds a new world in which consumers have many more choices – where nearly everything can be customized.
“With the exponential growth of free designs and expansion of 3D printing, we are creating enormous potential wealth for everyone,” he noted. “It would be a different kind of capitalism, where you don’t need a lot of money to create wealth for yourself or even start a business.”