Is DIY 3D Printing An Eco- Conscious Revolution?

So what's your take on this 3D printing company Shapeways? Would it help the waste crisis by addressing customization and a DIY mentality, or is it doomed to create more experimental waste? And why would a company from the Netherlands decide to experiment with this mass product printing in the US first? Are there laws in their country that prevented them from opening their headquarters there? Are Americans notorious around the world for being the most willing ginny pigs? For a designer this new technology may seem like a dream come true, but designers (of any kind), even if not all keep good practices, are taught to think about materials. Will this printing experiment render the serious study of product/industrial design and the thorough analysis of the ecological impact of materials worthless? Would you buy products from a person who mass prints non-functional products with irresponsible materials?   

Though it’s been used by industrial designers to create prototypes for decades, the process of rapid prototyping has only recently begun to benefit the masses, and Shapeways has been leading the way since 2007. As a platform for designing and actualizing 3D printed items, Shapeways has facilitated access to 3D printing technology so that anyone can develop and print their own designs. Read more...

More reading: http://blog.makezine.com/2013/04/05/how-many-people-will-own-3d-printers/

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