Upon reading a post on Medium by BBC tech journalist Dave Lee, I had a moment of panic and a moment of realisation. The post notes that once, a phone call — not the substance of the call — would have been big news. ‘Prime Minister uses breakthrough long-distance telephony to contact remote army post’, for example. Now, the technology is ubiquitous and ignored by the media and the subject of the call (usually in excruciating detail) would be examined. Or which scandal the Prime Minister was tending to (or instigating) with the call.
A lot of the coverage we see relating to 3D printing is the same today. Except, today it’s amplified to terrifying volume by the Internet megaphone. Dozens of stories across hundreds of sites report the production of some absolute garbage like it’s the Philae landing because 3D printing was involved. ‘First 3D Printed Door Stop!’. ‘First 3D Printed PEN!!1!!’. Etc etc ad nasueum. I think one of those stories was ours, incidentally.
So, while I rely on 3D printing and the technologies that support, complement and compete with it to make my meagre living, I cannot wait until 3D printing is not the story anymore. In obsessing and fetishising the technology we use to create we are ignoring the reason they exist in the first place — to help people create things. Incredible things, lifesaving things, timesaving things, things that are just make the lives of those that have them a little nicer.
Anyway, Dave says it all better than I so see what I am really trying to say here.