The future of the printing industry seems to be focused on 3-D printing and its many potential uses in the home, office, and medical field. A recent New York Times article, 3-D Printers to Make Things You Need or Like, describes various current uses as well as the seemingly limitless future possibilities.
This technology will no doubt make Life Simplified by allowing us to recreate small parts to fix or restore items no longer in production. It can even just save us a trip to the store after a busy day. The ease of internet shopping from home could be replaced by the simplicity of printing your own items at home.
Researchers are also beginning to find ways to use 3-D printing to create customizable human tissue organs. This application has the potential to change the face of organ and tissue replacement, saving so many lives.
The possibilities of what we can create with the press of a button seem endless; but just as we can produce life-enhancing objects, so can we create life-ending objects. Researchers recently fired shots from a 3-D printed gun and it is doubtless that many other illegal or controlled items could be created with just the touch of a button.
While some people may consider the harsh reality that there will always be those who will use a new technology in destructive ways, one must wonder what amazing things may be right over the horizon that will change society for the better. But the questions remains : Will the good outweigh the bad?