If questioned, many people will say that 3D printer is not a common computer accessory to have in an individual home. The reasons behind this reaction can be that without the special technical knowledge and skill set, it will be very difficult for them to create 3D CAD file on the 3D printer or 3D printing service. With 2D printers anyone with basic computer skills and knowledge is able to print a leaflet or a text document, but for using a 3D printer you will have to have certain technical knowledge about creating a 3D CAD file. The main point of difference between the 2D and 3D printers is that, on 2D printers you generally print documents, photos or graphics which are downloaded or sent to you.
If the 3D printers or printing services are equipped with the technology to scan 3D objects, then you would be able to scan any 3D object and create 3D models which are scaled down such as 3D photos of your family as well as friends. It is also being said that if the 3D printers are easily made available and operational at home level, then they may replace the process of manufacturing to a large extent. It may take some time and development in technology, but there seems a distinct possibility that large part of manufacturing can be done at individual home level with the help of the 3D printing service. There is of course the question of rights to copy the products and also about the license and copyrights as well as the other IP rights, but still the idea seems viable.
The idea behind this concept is that you will be able to download the file of the desired product and then send it directly to your 3D printer. There can be limitations regarding some material or complicated products and also about the size of the product you will be able to print on your 3D printer at home. As far as the difficulties regarding the first two problems are concerned, they can be solved with development of technology and same is true with the problem of the different material. About the size of the product, you can print the product in parts and then assemble them. You can also hire the local 3D printing service to print large sized files.
The main point is that whether it will be affordable, viable and easily possible for common people to print products at home with the help of their 3D printers? Is it cheaper and convenient for them to purchase those products at stores or even online? Is the 3D printing services a better option that actual shopping for the products?