education background in Industrial design, have had the opportunity to work
with rapid prototyping for developing new products. As this becomes mainstream,
the following advantages and disadvantages vs. traditional manufacturing
methods become clear:
Iterations and mass user testing of products before
introducing them directly to the market means that user testing is involved at
a much earlier stage than before. This allows for on-demand manufacturing, which is both sustainable and cost-effective in
the long run.
Each product can now be made unique as per the needs
and variables defined by the customer permitting mass customization.
For a consumer who is located in a remote area, it
would be intuitive to personally fabricate a replacement part for an outdated
or unsupported device from the downloadable part library on a manufacturer’s
site, helping them to reenergize their
4. Designers and
manufacturing companies will be able to focus micro-markets such as developing nations, disable consumers etc. to
create highly functional products that are customized to their unique
Prototyping techniques allow for complex geometry to be introduced in prototypes that is
not possible with mass manufacturing processes.
Personal fabrication could be used abused to create and proliferate destructive or
To avoid piracy and protect the intellectual property, software designers will need to work closely
with developers to have copy protection or limited usage in place.
Freedom to access customizability may also lead to wastage.
Their might be material
and cost limitations involved.