It is sneaking up on us. It's not quite here, yet all the basic elements exist. With a little tweaking and some advances here and there, the technology will be in place. I would say less than ten years and, perhaps, much sooner than that. Events are accelerating, artificially compressing time. Let's face it - shit happens faster now.
|Courtesy of Steve Jurvetson. Some rights reserved.|
You now have the option of protecting your idea for a year with a U.S. provisional patent for $130; long enough to find out if you need to spend more if it's a hit. Let's say your product is plastic. Your used Baxter robot ($10,000) assembles and packs for you while your 3D printer ($500-$1500) pumps out parts. You're a manufacturer for less than the price of a used car. If there's only a few parts, fire the robot and assemble it yourself. Now you're a manufacturer for less than the price of a really nice refrigerator.
What would you make if you had a 3D printer and a robot to put together the parts?
I don't know about you, but I would seriously think about making 3D printers and robots.
author Transmat World