3D printing is one of those things that can really get a bunch of geeks (gaggle of geeks?) going: how kewl it is, whether it's practical, would you actually EAT something from a printer... the conversations can be endless.
Thankfully, the online version of that discussion generates some great gems like the video below. It's an imagining of how 3D printing may evolve over time: how the machines will continue to improve, and how we will crowdsource designs for the items we want to print. Could there be entire Maker Faire style social networks around DIY-home printing?
Need a cup? Find a design, iterate through it, upload and share. Someone else downloads your design, makes improvements and shares back with you. I love the mix of on-demand creation and agile design. Entire social networks could be formed around the various steps of the design process (design, manufacturing, materials). An entire online eco-system for 3D printing enthusiasts, Maker Faires to display the gems printed using varying composite materials, investors lurking on networks to scoop up ideas that could be brought to market.
In fact, knowing how much time DIY-ers spend talking about the process of creation, the printing would become more of an afterthought, wouldn't it? Like watching a bunch of kids play: they spend more time designing the game than they ever do playing it.
So I guess that just begs the question: how long till we get there? (And will I be able to crowdsource and print a flying car?)