The Hottest Product Since The iPhone? Rapid Digital Manufacturing Reviewed

The coolest thing I saw (besides my customers) at the Del Mar Electronics Trade Show 2012 was the latest in local 3D printing machines.  Ironically, I got a call from my brother who displayed more excitement then I’ve ever heard from him before.  He told me that he had just signed up for the new program called Rapid Digital Manufacturing over at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California.  If you type in “Rapid Digital Manufacturing” into Google, the first entry in the natural search is the Saddleback College program. That my friends, is the wave of the future.

My brother, who happens to be a genius in my opinion, is very astute at pointing out future trends. Despite our differing conspiracy theory conversations, he has been fairly accurate over the years. The Rapid Digital Manufacturing program is challenging from what I hear.  It requires a unique set of skills to learn the software and multiple pieces of laboratory equipment.

Here’s the most interesting aspect of all this…there are jobs waiting to be filled once a person successfully completes the certificate program.  That revelation indicates to me that the hottest product since the iPhone may end up being the 3D printer.

YouTube took content creation to the masses by providing a platform for everyone to upload their vidoes .  I have experience at this first hand as my daughter has over 17,000 subscribers on her YouTube account.

MakerBot Industries’ Replicator won the best of emerging technology award at the Consumer Electronics Show and 3D Systems’ Cube 3D printer is MakerBot’s foremost competitor in bringing user-designed objects to the masses. Right now the prices of these printers are a bit high for mass distribution but as prices come down the uses for an at home 3D printer are amazing.

To get 3D plans for the 3D printer requires either knowledge of AutoCad to create your own design or MakerBot has a community site called Thingiverse which provides access to 3D plans.

My son who is 8 years old is constantly creating props for his videos.  These props include a life size chain saw, a black “United Express” credit card and he is working on a fake cinder block.  His prop requests are rapid and often.  He stated that he wanted a real hover board shown in the movie “Back To The Future” for his birthday and he wants it to really “hover”.  He drew plans on how he was going to make the first hover board work.  I told him he needs to take a Physics class as soon as possible.  Imagine millions of budding engineers and scientists having access to 3D printers in their garages?  Truly we are looking at a future generation being able to create products almost on demand.

MakerBot’s cool 3D printer is demonstated in the video below.


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