Why I Want The 3D Printer to be The Office Tool of the Future

I recently came across this CNN Money article which tries to look 10 years into the future and predict how the workplace will change.

I love this kind of stuff but when you really think about it: apart from tech getting smaller and faster, has your experience of the corporate office changed a lot in the last 20 years? Me neither. I mean, apart from our equipment getting streamlined and generally smaller, most of us still work offices or cubicles, on computers and meet in imagination-stifling bored board rooms. So, I think they are getting ahead of themselves what with all the rolling glass and cafeteria culture.

That said, I love the idea of 3-D printers in the workplace. Can you imagine brainstorming something and immediately producing it to see the pros and cons? And I don't mean just rapid prototyping a pĥysical good. No, I'm also picturing the ability to model and print out information concepts, mind maps, brainstorming diagrams, project approaches and program structures. Draw them in your mind mapping or diagramming software, overlay dimensions, make it a 3-D rendering, and print. In fact, viewing abstract concepts in physical form would be like using Lego to build out ideas.

CAN YOU IMAGINE?!

Playing with a model in your hands, melding the physical and mental space to increase creativity in brainstorming. Just the idea of it!? Love! love! love! {nerdgasm}

(And then she remembers that she needs to wait for it to happen.) {le sigh} I guess it's back to the Lego for now...

Illustration: Luke Shuman