Monday, June 18, 2007

The Shape of Things to Come?

The book The Long Tail is about the way the market for "soft" goods (like music) has changed with the internet. The last chapter discussed some interesting new technologies, including 3D printers - with speculation that they will ultimately force the same sort of changes in the market for real, physical goods. Right now 3D printers are expensive and slow, but they are already making an impact in certain niches--for instance, a talk at CMU a few years ago made a great case for using them to make printing 3D models of proteins. (Believe it or not, holding one for a minute or two beats any CHIME visualization). A good friend of mine recently blogged a visit to Desktop Factory, which makes 3D printers, and posted a bunch of interesting images. Look at the bones, man!