Flash Forge Inventor Series

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  1. #1

    Will 3D Printing Lead to An Economic Boom or Collapse?

    I recently published an article here:

    In it I discuss whether or not the advancement of 3D printing will ultimately lead to a smaller jobs market and economic collapse, or a booming jobs market and economic prosperity. The article looks at both the positive and negative effects which 3D printing and robotics will have on the market. I would love to hear opinions from you guys on this. In my opinion I think we have a better chance for a net jobs increase than a decrease as the economy expands due to automation.

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Manufacturing jobs were draining out of the country to outsourcing to places with a lax tax structure and very low accepted wages.
    Retail jobs are collapsing due to internet commerse reducing brick and morter shops to showrooms for other peoples' profit.
    Service jobs are getting flooded with the people who don't have their manufacturing and retail jobs anymore, creating a hypercompetative job market which drives down wages.
    Design and engineering jobs are also getting flooded, though by the percent of people who were able to get through higher education, while also dealing with outsourcing to a degree.
    Artists are making their own money almost exactly as much (or little) as they did before, musicians even more so now that the 'music industry' has collapsed.

    3D printing is nowhere in the equation except as a tool for all fields of employment.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator old man emu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Narellan, New South Wales, Australia
    All of Mankind's machines have at their source the concept of relieving people of the need to work. Look at the origin of the word "robot" in the modern context:


    from Czech, from robota 'forced labour'. The term was coined in K. Čapek's play R.U.R. 'Rossum's Universal Robots' (1920).

    Mankind is eliminating many types of work through developing machines, and by doing so, releasing us from the basic tasks of survival. This idea was raised in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs which can be illistrated like this:

    Machines take us from the two lower levels to the top level (Self Esteem and Loving/belonging do't enter this discussion)

    So, as machines free us from the tasks of survival, they let us spend more time in self-actualization which is from where we traditionally got music and art and natural sciences. This is how we got to where we are today. Did Bill Gates or Steve Jobs have to go out each day to hunt and gather food and to build shelter? Not likely. By being free from those tasks they were able to spend their time creating the digital world (with the help of others who were also ex-hunter/gatherers.

    3D Printing is just another tool to free us from God's punishment of Adam and Eve, but let's not get into biblical debate here.

    Old Man Emu
    You may go past me,
    But you won't outlast me!

  4. #4
    Student lindamarreno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    As of now, we are all excited and hyped about the endless possibilities of the 3d printer. We all know that the machine itself is still innovating and more features will surely be added for the years to come. We this, like Iphone, many people will buy it and print their own stuff in the comforts of their home.

    Do I need to buy things outside? Yes? No?

    In my opinion, if I want to buy luxury items like jewelries, high end phones, leather shoes, etc.. I will go outside to buy it.

    If I want to buy tools, toys, accessories, etc.. that are print-able. I will just print it.

    In this sense, SOME industries will collapse, and SOME will make more fortune.

  5. #5
    like always we can look at history to for we often repeat it

    A very possible option would be for it to follow music industry. We saw such a big fight between company vs people sharing. It seemed to have balanced itself out with music streaming services.
    3d printers might produce the similar results the official companies continuing to sell products vs people sharing ripped off copies.
    but i think we would see a balance become manufacturing continuing to design and sell products but let the buyer customize it.

    Consider furniture, we may be able to scan a room then model a desk that fits perfectly. It would be the perfect height to match your desk chair. balance the length and width to match your needs and the configuration of the room. and the type of leg supports you prefer. and after all that select the design you want. even ornate details. like carving an intense battlescene between space pirates and ninjas onto the legs. =P

    the user may also want to consider adding accessories. a little noock for your desktop with tracks for wire management and I/O holes in the back to match up perfectly where you need them. a backboard to flush mount the monitors.

    lol, i could go on and on about this. the possibilities are really exciting for me.
    but anyway i think its obvious that we will see companies develop to fill the void, some companies adapt to it, and some companies fade. but that's how nature has always functioned.

  6. #6
    Engineer-in-Training beerdart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

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