Take for example this Design News article about 3D printed wood (OK, so the materials are usually a combination of wood with some type of polymer binding ingredient, but hey), which got me thinking about how technology is likely to blur the lines between many industries. Today, I'd probably visit a joinery shop for a wooden item like the one shown in the photo - but perhaps in years to come I'll visit a High Street print shop for such instead? (or, more realistically, order them online for home delivery).
And then I stumbled across this Mashable article which discusses 3D printed affordable housing (yes, whole 3D printed houses - be sure to scroll down the article and watch the very interesting video of the 3D printer in action)... now, perhaps ordering a house via a High Street print shop is a little too far-fetched (and admittedly not the point of the article) - but who knows what's around the corner in our rapidly-changing world?
What do you think? 3D printing looks like it's here to stay, and as the technology develops it's sure to make its mark on a whole host of industries - not least the construction industry. Would you agree or disagree? Discussion encouraged!
(Signs & Lines is yet to venture into the world of 3D printing - and perhaps it never will! Nonetheless, I find the technology - and its possible applications - fascinating)