The distant future is likely to see people using 3D printers the same way that people use replicators in the TV show Star Trek Next Generation and Voyager. Where, if nanna is coming around for dinner and you need an extra glass for her egg nog, then you print one up really quickly to match the others in your house. When you break a plate, you print up a new ceramic one really quickly that matches the ones you already have. For the moment, the future of 3D printing is unclear. The devices are going to come down in price, as evidenced by the fact that the best 3D printer under 300 dollars is streets ahead of the devices we had just a few years ago. But, besides prices falling, we can only guess what is going to happen next.
The Cost of Materials Will Come Down
As the cost of the devices comes down, they will be used by more people as more people can afford them. As this happens, the capitalist market will show an increase in demand for materials, and so more suppliers will emerge, which will lower the price of plastic materials. The economic knock-on effect of this is that printed plastic products will become cheaper, meaning more materials are needed to keep up with demand, which will eventually lower material prices even more until the gap between demand and supply is stabilized to a far fairer cost than the one being paid now.
3D Printers Will Get Faster
This is almost a guarantee. It is true that the precision required is a time-consuming matter, but as technology improves, people will find ways to make 3D printers faster. This means that in the future when people are using 3D printers at home for simple tasks, they will be able to do it within a few hours rather than taking a few hours to set up and several hours to print. There may even come a time when people are making their dinner, they smash a plate, and a new one is printed before dinner is cooked.
Dual Extruding Printing
The fact that dual extruder 3D printers now exist has all the hallmarks of a continuing process. Just like the days when small TVs started to get larger, and cars started to get faster, it seems that 3D printers will probably have more extruders. We are likely to see machines that can print in several different colors without having to chop and change the setups. We are also likely to see this affect the speed at which printers work. It may not make them super-fast, but more extruders may make future printers more efficient than modern printers.
Home Businesses Will Be Side Hustles
The reason why at-home 3D printing businesses are not making big money at the moment is that the cost of setting up is very high and because the cost of materials and upkeep is so high that it just isn’t profitable to run a full-time business with your digital printer. However, some people may be able to turn their 3D printers into a bit of a side hustle in future years. Just like those people who buy cement mixers and rent them out to people, so too may people rent out the use of their 3D printers to people in the nearby area.
It is unlikely that at-home 3D printing businesses will make big money, but there is always a chance. All it takes is a creative entrepreneur to turn a single idea into a big money maker. After all, who would have guessed those fidget spinners and vape pens would have taken off as much as they did? Perhaps people will come up with brilliant ways they can use their at-home printers to make big money. Never rule out the human desire to make millions at home.