Reminder: 3d printing misconceptions
3D printing, and in general all forms of DiDIY (Digital DIY) are sometimes presented as miracle technologies. Reality is different, at least in the short/medium term, and this is something we at DiDIY must take into account while preparing our policy guidelines. Some of the most common misconceptions are:
- I can 3D print everything. Reality: As long as it’s plastic and..
- Every printer prints the same. Reality: no, it doesn't. No way.
3D Printing is FAST and ECONOMICALLY CONVENIENT. Reality: no, 3D Printing is SLOW. In many cases a 3D printed object also is (sometimes a lot) more expensive than buying the same object manufactured on an assembly line, for a whole lot of reasons explained in the sources of this post. This does not make DiDIY, any less relevant. DiDIY is the only way to go in an ever growing number of cases, for example whenever one needs a unique product, or a product (or its spare parts!) that cannot be bought anymore from its original manufacturer
Last but not least: Everyone should have a 3D printer. Reality: as we noted in this talk, most people will not, and should not, have their very own 3D printer in their home or office. For exactly the same reasons why only a small percentage of people buys a regular printer to print books instead of buying or renting them, or customizes and compiles the Free as in Freedom software they may be using every day.