The role of kids in preparing the future DiDIY society
University of Texas spirit: a 3D-printed cryptex in true Longhorn style. CC BY-ND
"Among university student users of the Innovation Station, uniquely 3D printable parts are starting to appear. When completing course projects, students will often design parts that offer needed performance with geometries that could not be fabricated without 3D printing. They are freed from the complex web of rules that govern fabrication by more conventional means.
Young children offer an even more extreme example of innovators. They simply do not have vast mental libraries of technical solutions, and don’t know what can or can’t be made conventionally. They are, therefore, much less likely to fixate on existing designs and more likely to unleash their imaginations. If we give them this massive design freedom very early in life, perhaps they won’t design within the same constraining mental boxes that midcareer engineers struggle to escape. We could unleash a generation of engineers and creatives with unprecedented levels of creativity and 3D imagination."
Of course, every practical activity of this kind should take into account, and avoid, the problem highlighted by the first commenter to the original article:
"Our society and landfills are already filled with worthless objects that do little to improve our lives. Until we change the general population to design and create ways to reduce our dependence on consumption of raw resources that contribute towards our dependence on materialism, 3D [printing] will be misuused."