3D printing — this century’s most disruptive innovation?! | David F. Flanders | TEDxHamburg

3D printing — this century’s most disruptive innovation?! | David F. Flanders | TEDxHamburg

Translator: Bob Prottas
Reviewer: Victor Chaveneau Hello Hamburg,
and let’s ask that question right off, I’m talking about 3D printing. Who here had heard of 3D printing before?
By show of hands. Fantastic, that’s 90%. And of those numbers, how many of you have actually seen or interacted with a 3D printer,
actually used one? Okay, so it’s about
cut in half from there. Let me just reaffirm
that if you’d like to tweet any of this please grab me on Twitter @dfflanders. But right on to the topic. The reason why I’m passionate
about 3D printing is because I work in universities,
and we have this group called pif3D, which stands for
Pay It Forward 3D Printing. And what we do is we’re a group
that just enjoys this stuff. We’ll come to your University,
we’ll put on a 24-hour party and we will give you the skills to be able
to build one of these 3D printers, and the best part is this printer,
once you’ve made it, it can print its own parts
and build another one. So it can have children, if you will.
(Laughter) I think one of the really
exciting things, as I said, is this goes back to childhood love of just enjoying things, and having an idea, and using your imagination
to just build something out of nothing, and that’s what excites me
about 3D printing on a personal and core level. But today,
what I’m really going to talk about is the larger idea
of what 3D printing can achieve for us on a grand scale. So here’s the hypothesis: humans can turn the Web off,
they can’t turn reality off. Which makes it significant. We’ll always like real objects
more than virtual ones. So my simple example is this:
I’m willing to stand up here today and give you my best ideas
for free, for nothing. However, if you want
my phone in my pocket, I’m probably going to expect a little bit
of a cash reimbursement for that. 3D printing will change everything,
and more to the point, because it’s physical reality, I think it’s especially going to change
the way we think about money, and also all the opportunities
for making money from these objects. Okay, so why do I think
it’s a big technology? So a graph up here,
percentage of change on the vertical, and the years,
date here, on the horizontal. And as you can see,
these significant technologies all had this momentum,
where actually at some point, they take off from innovation, and they start to significantly change
who and what we do. Onto obviously one of the big ones here,
and it’s just begun. Again this is number
of servers on the vertical, and this is years along the horizontal, and again right in about ’98, boom! we see this massive shift in the number
of servers across the planet. And of course, we’re just on the journey, we haven’t even begun
to realize how much the Internet’s going to effect
and change us. So, 3D printing, a brief history. How does it fit into this model? Well, it’s older than you think. 1980 was the first
rapid prototyping 3D printer. It was a commercial printer,
cost $30,000 and above. In fact they’re much more expensive,
that’s just the cheapest one. In 2007 a land mark,
a red-letter date occurred, where this group, under the RepRap,
self-replicating printer, actually created a desktop printer. So, unlike the commercial large ones,
this will sit on your desk, and it will print objects
of about a foot by a foot by a foot. And of course the significant bit
is the fact that it can actually print itself. Which is what we’re doing. And then Makerbot is a company
that now sells these printers. So if you don’t want to make it yourself,
you can just buy one outright. We can build one for around 300 Euros, 300 to 500 Euros, depending on what parts. Makerbot sells them
for around 1,000 or so, but check their website, please. And then finally,
the real question I’m asking here is does 3D printing fit into the bigger thing? Well, since that 2007, this is the map
where people have just registered to say that we’re actually
building printers, and willing to help you build printers. So it’s starting to take off,
and that’s kind of where this graph goes. So, here’s where we are, right. And the question is,
are we going to see that big sweep? And that’s what I’m going
to talk to you about today. It’s really the big question of,
how is this going to change? I don’t want to talk about the technology. I want to talk to you about, is there ideas here, that you
could build into all of your creativity, and all the things you’re doing,
and I think there’s a possibility of that. So, there’s four types of things,
four types of change, that I think these printers can effect, and I’m going to go through
each one of these, and give examples of each one,
and in fact, all of the pictures following here,
all of them are 3D printed. These are not photoshopped,
these are real 3D printed objects that have been printed either by desktop,
or commercial 3D printers. First one, okay,
this is kind of the boring stuff. Change the everyday things, right. So this is what I call
the “Made in China” stuff. So this is my belt buckle. These are
the things you find in your office, that you’ve got
an entire cabinet full of things, that you’ve overstocked
and probably won’t use, and will probably
get thrown away some day. So I think that’s going to change
the way we think about those things. I think it’s also going to change
the way we think about what is luxurious. So there’s a great company
called “i.Materialize” that’s starting to do lamps. And I was in Hamburg
actually this weekend, enjoying shopping around with my wife. And we were looking at lamps, and saying, wow these are brilliant,
and then the cost of them. I was just —
they’re incredibly expensive. Well, 3D printing gives you the capability
to do this at a much lower cost, than you would imagine,
with the same quality, if not even more, bespoke customization, that you can do inside of these things. This is one of my favorite examples, it’s called
“The Chandelier of the Damned”. As the beautiful chandelier here is, you can imagine
what that would have cost to carve, say and what the cost would be. Well, that can be printed,
and even more powerful, the design for that can be
re-uploaded digitally, so that you could remaster it. So instead of doing a Rodin’s Damned,
you could do Rodin’s Parade, all right. So you could change the Chandelier
to be a bit more positive, perhaps. Change how we buy —
and this is important. So these objects are things that we do spend
significant amounts of money on. And you will notice, that again,
these are all 3D printed objects. That’s right,
they printed a motorcycle. In fact, this motorcycle was shown
at a TED conference, and they’ve even gone so far
as to build the parts for this low-level energy consumption car,
as well as an airplane. Now all of that stuff,
as amazing as it is, and indeed I mean seeing
a running motorcycle that was printed, is incredible, but the trouble is,
is it’s just copying things. It’s not rethinking
about what the technology can do for us, and how it can change. So that’s what I’m going
to talk about next, it’s what are the objects
we really care about, and start to want to rethink
how we design, and how we use them. So, what do we enjoy? Well, one of the significant bits
is fashion, right? It changes our core self interest
in what we think of ourselves, and how it works. And again, what’s great about fashion
is that being able to customize things, that’s exactly what a 3D printer can do. It can give you
infinite level of customization. Change the way we have fun — right, so this is one
of my personal favorites, the sports equipment side. So on the left there, with the surfboard, that’s a skeleton that you can print, and so, my friend, who’s half
the weight of me, who surfs, can give me that design, I can scale up
that design to fit my body weight, and be able to actually print
a surfboard for my usage. The same with the football boots. So the football boots,
imagine the industry, and the amount of money
that’s going to be made, by people who want
custom-made football boots, to their foot. Not only to fit, but also to be able
to kick the ball in very specific ways. Change the way we experience — Right, so this is one of my favorites. Many of you probably saw
this article in the Economist, about printing a Stradivarius. Yes indeed they’re starting
to with work that, but again, the question is,
is moving beyond just copying? So at MIT they’ve started
to do this flute, and you can reprint
the different parts of it so that you can have
bigger fingers, or smaller fingers, depending on what size
instrument you need. And then more importantly, reimagining what we
can completely do with instruments. What would a 7-horn trumpet look like? and being able to use and play that. There’s really exciting potential
for creativity in art here. So I’ve talked about
the things that we like, but now we need to talk about
the necessary things. These are the things that make us survive, and enable us to exist, right. So let’s think about food. This is quite exciting,
they’ve adapted the desktop printer to be able to push out ice in a freezer,
so that you could print ice sculptures. Maybe not a massive significant thing,
in terms of survival, but it’s starting to push that bounds,
and those limits of what we can achieve. Another one here,
this is using a syringe-type method, so that you can do
layer upon layer cake. So, you can actually build up multiple
cookie designs or something like that. Another one here, this is using multiple
print heads to do multiple food types. So you can imagine your appetizer,
or your canapé being delivered to you from a 3D printer, just being able to print that up. So buildings, these are important. Can we actually imagine
a 3D printer printing a building? Well, someone’s already done it. In Italy, they’re experimenting
with printing cement. So this is on a much larger design, and they plan to scale this up
even further to make this next step to actually be even a larger size,
the size of say a house or so on. So this is one of the most exciting ones,
I think of all. There’s already several Universities
in the States, who are actually starting to be able
to graph skin cells from you, cultivate those skin cells,
put them in a syringe type mechanism, be able to put your hand down,
or other body part, lay the printer over the top, and actually
print a new layer of skin on you. This is actually happening. And even more significant than that, and this is where I think
this could really change lives full stop, is the fact that Wakefield Forrest
has already demonstrated the ability to actually cultivate
your liver cells, cultivate those, and then print you a new liver. Now that doesn’t mean you should
stop signing your organ donor cards. This technology’s not fully capable yet, but it’s well on it’s way,
and it’s starting to get there. Okay, so finally, the big one. The next set of these is actually
asking the bigger question, so it’s a bit speculative,
but it’s the question of does 3D printing become a significant technology
that changes the century? Is it going to do that big up curve
in the way we do thing? So, here’s a simple example. Let’s think about this
in a more holistic way. Imagine shoes,
kids growing up 5-years of age, every mother can tell you
how quickly they grow out of those shoes. Well, there’s no reason why
those shoes can’t be shredded down as a base plastic that’s organic. You take a milk bottle
from your refrigerator, and you shred that along
with the other plastic, you scale up your design
0.01% to be the next sized foot, and you reprint the shoe. Imagine the cost savings
from shipping all of those shoes, the amount of energy you saved, wasted, and the amount of time, you’re gonna
be having to go shoe shopping, and all the rest with your kids. This could start to fundamentally change
the way we do things. With the good, comes the bad. I can print this up tomorrow. I can print up a gun out of plastic,
that would not be detected by most metal detectors in airports. Doesn’t mean I can get
the bullets through, but there is the capability
of being able to sneak that through. It’s going to change the way
we think about safety. Laws are going to have to be rethought. There’s going to be new ways
of thinking about these things. Now finally I want to suggest
to you a bit larger of an idea. So this is me just trying to be creative, because I do think
there’s new businesses to be had, and especially when you combine it
with something like the web. So, let’s pretend something– well, let’s not pretend, we know that
the earthquake happened in Japan, and obviously we want to help them. Well, you can imagine by using
another significant technology, like the web, where you can setup
a site where the Japanese could come along and request
the items that they need, because they’ve lost it
in the Earthquake. Enough printers around the country
could actually print those things, and then we’d be able
to send those objects over to them to help them in their time of crisis. How munch more significant
would that be than sending money? Knowing that you’re printing an object,
and giving it to someone else? How is that going to change the way
you see helping out other countries? Most importantly,
this one we’re quite excited about, we’re trying to stage
a little group to go down to Egypt and get these printers
into the hands of people who are just going to
be able to use these things, and that’s what becomes
really exciting. If we get these 3D printers in the hands
of people who need these things, and can print the objects they need, we’re going to be able change
their fundamental economy and the way they’re doing things. So, I hope I’ve inspired you today. I hope you have some ideas, and I would love it
if you would come up to me, and share those ideas with me. And more importantly, if you’d like
to put on a 3D print party, and have some of me
and my developer friends come and show you how to build
your own printer so you can get started, there are my contact details. Thank you all very much. Cheers. (Applause)

local_offerevent_note October 11, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


100 thoughts on “3D printing — this century’s most disruptive innovation?! | David F. Flanders | TEDxHamburg”

  • @kanefreeman1 Increased technology only ever expands markets. This is where Karl Marx's attempt at prophecy went off the deep end and made him irrelevant 170 years ago. There is never going to be an end to new technology and people will always want to interact. You can't "print" (which is bad word for this technology) the base material. You can't print the perfect mixes of metals, unless you have an industrial plant. You can't print fuel, you can't print services.

  • @redpillreality
    Well like the other dude in the comments said, this could free up some labor to work on more important shit that DOES need more care than it's getting like farming.

  • @xalener i agree its a good thing. the problem is it creates higher unemployment cause our economic system demands labor for employment for purchasing power for consumepsion for economic growth. not everyone can be a farmer.

  • @promontorium the market cant continue to compensate for jobs eliminated by technology. when new technology creates new jobs its because the technology is still inefficient so human labor is required. once that technology becomes efficient jobs are eliminated. its not about "printing" its about how much of the work is done by human labor. the more automated it is the less humans are needed to maintain technology the less jobs are available for that technology

  • @redpillreality
    That's the thing. Farming is too broad for a statement like that. Everthing involving consumables need to be rethought. Especially in America. Then again, so does economy in general. It's a shame there's not a chance in hell anyone around the world with authority would actually get their heads together and try to work it out. Especially the ones with huge debts owed to them.

  • Amazing technology!
    Like anything brought forth it is up to human consciousness to decide how it is used.
    Thank you

  • @ProperSauce u didnt get it…these Japanese will tell us what they need and we will make the items and ship it to them…they wont need to do anything but communicate with us.

  • @AtmaQuestion You are aware that to print a very destructive bomb, which to my knowledge is a hydrogen bomb or a nuclear bomb, you would need other material than just plastic. All that printer could do is make you the bomb encasement. You would still need the enriched uranium and so on to make a bomb that would "destroy Atlantis." These printers don't just make any material you want out of thin air….you still need to give it the materials to create what you wish.

  • Mhh… I'm VERY skeptic… I mean: how can i print a solid steel gun in my house? Melting steel, and adding gunpowder? Printing a pen? It does require metal, plastic, ink.. Printing a PLASTIC car? Have fun with the first accident against a metal car…
    It's a nice idea but… world changing? I think not…

  • To bad you can't print an education. Reading these comments is painful.

    I believe the technology is astounding. It's applications are endless.

    However, this is a very broad overview. I'm curious about the greater implications that 3D printing presents to a lower class individual such as myself.

  • @MrTzatzikiTv

    "thats something that can't be printed"

    There are major research to implement many different technologies in 3D printing. 3D printing can already print complex mechanical parts.


    Only recently has metal printing has become possible. There was a recent breakthrough in printing Graphene which has many promising aspects for the future. Also even the aerospace industry is adopting 3d printing.

  • So where would you get the models for printing 3D objects? Companies would probably charge in order to obtain them.

  • Meh those things arent going to really ruin jobs, though internet gonna set up over a billion sites about schemes or lets say blueprint that they sell to make your stuff

  • This going to be huge for mechanical parts.I can't wait till I can use this to print out missing joints and gears. For Design its going to be amazing

  • @kanefreeman1 Technology almost never serves people, it only serves money.. So will it benefit the normal individual? no chance..

  • Everyone with a printer will still need to source materials and colouring for their objects. Can you imagine how much stuff people will waste on printing out stuff they don't need (look at how much is already wasted). The materialism of western cultures will go through the roof and the demand for raw materials with it. For this to be truely a success from the consumer perspective, people will have to learn some self control and change there attitudes towards "having things".

  • If it only uses plastic, how can they make a motorcycle.. idk.. The number one problem I see with 3d printers, is the limit on the materials it can use… He mentioned they're starting to build houses out of concrete, using 3d printers, as well as making art-work out of food.. but seriously now, from plastic to concrete, to nifty little creations with food, I don't see this tech. getting so far..

  • it's all about the materials.. you can't make a plastic gun, the hammer's gotta be metal.. so until they can incorporate metal into this technology, it's mostly fruitless..

  • Shred a bunch of apples, send the shredded apples to a third world country, print the apples, and you have cheep, fresh, healthy apples for starving children 🙂

  • It potentially could, all you'd need is the proper raw matter. They're slowly being more and more able to print organs, so food is definitely a possibility.

  • Revolutionary tech such as this will eventually have products made for nearly free, so what dat education for? We will not need to know nuthin-creepy really

  • First and foremost-the military, new weapons, aeronautics/aviation our 30,000 drones to be over the US by 2016 as Obama said, likely waiting for quick perfection cheap. Pres know what he is doing in streamlining the military for an efficient kill machine-unfortunately knowing what & why are 2 very different things, insanity IMO

  • 3d printing. Lol you guys believe this shit? Lets go way back to the basics of science. Energy is not created nor destroyed. Mass = energy. So, in order to create say, a bar of iron, you would need an immense amount of ink, or whatever these printers use. Now, you guys may say o.. thats fine, and it would be, but its not. Everything is made from elements, How are you going to create the element "uranium" for example, from say zinc and other elements found in the pigments of ink.

  • Woah, hold on their Einstein. Even if it isn't real the "printers" don't use ink. They seem to use some kinda of polymer substance from the look of it, and also the skin spraying uses stem cells from the person that is going to get sprayed. National Geographic did a special on something similar. They guy in the video also said that building printing, for example, will be using concrete to build what is needed. Just because it says "printer"doesn't mean it uses ink…durr.

  • It isn't that they think guns are bad. The issue is that with 3D Printing, the "bad guys" could potentially make guns without going through the government regulations put in place to protect law abiding citizens.

  • The centuries most disruptive technology? So what! A few greedy bastards go out of business for the benefit of the human race!

  • everyone would go out of business. I am all for it but I cant imagine what NYC will look like if I can print all of my clothes hah

  • Right. Automation of repetitive tasks through open-source, collaborative design and engineering might give us too much time to actually enjoy living and creating.

  • Like, oh my god, it might put your favorite designer(s), like, out of business!

    Since, like, anyone who can use a 3D design program can customize their own bag, clothes, etc., (wow, like, colors and stuff, too) and print it.

    Many examples already on thingiverse(dot)com and other 3D printing sites.

  • it will no longer be cheaper to make something abroad and ship it elsewhere…industry will become "local" ..interesting to contemplate.

  • This technology will make us rethink our very economic system. If I can print nearly everything I need at my home, then why would I ever pay substantially more to buy a product from a corporation?

    With much less money in circulation this will spell the end of the monetary market labor for income system. After thousands of years, its about time we rethink our economy.

  • It's all plastic materials though. The world needs LESS plastic, not more. Some of these printers use PVC which is very unhealthy. What about biodegradable plastics? Are they used at all for these printers? Metals and wood? Glass? Biocompatible materials? What are the choices?

  • This makes me think of those anti-piracy ads at the beginning of movies… "You wouldn't steal a car." I've always thought, well I would if I could fucking download one! I think this technology will eventually really start to take off, but it's going to be incredibly disruptive. In theory we'd no longer be paying for the manual labour but the energy, material and digital schematics. But think of what we can already pirate. Soon physical objects may be on piratebay.

  • Ikea will replace all their products with huge 3D printers and computers that are connected to them where the customers can customize products. Just a thought.

  • "What about biodegradable plastics?"

    RepRap printers like the "Huxley" and RepRap derivatives like Makerbot's "Replicator 2", along with other DIY variations (Eventorbot, Deltabot) can make use of a common biodegradable polymer called PLA — Poly(Lactic Acid). It's synthesized from starchy renewables like corn or beets and composts in days.

    RepRap.org is a great place to start for exploring the diversity of projects undertaken by some of the "maker" community.

  • I'm in complete agreement with you, though 3D printing is not actually that simple if you're trying to do new things like experiment with materials, forms, components of the 3D printer, etc.

    However, you're otherwise correct: 3D printing's ubiquity will happen, it cannot be stopped, only delayed, and when it does, it will completely disrupt the entire Political Economy we currently suffer with. Open Everything!

  • Hell Yeah! Even better idea. Anyone can print the living girl of their dreams. Oh man…. I hope I live long enough to see that day.

  • I agree the implications of the future of 3D printing are almost utopian… Biological immortality, creating our own sustenance, creating our own goods, etc! But then again we can also create our own weaponry. We need an equivalent revolution in the field of psychology to heal trauma and develop compassion, otherwise we are going to have mini Hitlers popping up everywhere. Disclamer; I'm talking out of my ass.

  • The first thing they should print up is the flying cars that were supposed to be in everyone's driveway by now.

  • I think 3D printing will save this world. It will also help pave the way for further developments in nanotechnology.

  • You are talking out of your ass. Guns (Weapons) don't kill people, people kill people. The 3D printer will not change this.

  • David Flanders is ponting out, what I am telling the audience in my talks:
    3D-Printers are going to change EVERYTHING from economy and production within 20 or 30 years of time. That'S why I propose an Unconditional Basic Income.

  • I agree, I think its about time we look at what really drives violent criminal behavior. There is a lot of work out there which strongly correlates poverty, materialism, and other aberrations of western society to these violent crimes. The work of Richard Gilligan comes to mind.

    I have never heard of a terrorist or violent person who was not in some way disenfranchised by society and/or experienced horrible conditions as a child.

  • Now combine AI computer technology with 3D printing technology and even more amazing things could happen. A computer that isn't limited by even the genius capability of handling 7 or 8 concepts at once, but is getting input from all the best minds in the world. It could easily relate in any language and develop ideas based on all sciences, not just biotechnology, or nano technology, but all the intricate divisions in science today that no one genius could possibly learn in a lifetime. By 2050 I don't think we'll recognize this world. 

  • I just uploaded my first video, ever… You might find it interesting 🙂 Let me know what you think. I'd love your input. 3D Metal Deposition with Metal wirefeed.

  • Dziękuję ładne podsumowanie i prezentacja, wszystko wskazuję na zrodzenie się robotyki "kombajn" czyli wielozadaniowość drukarki 3d łącznie z produkcją "tuszu-plastiku" z petów, butelek i innych materiałów plastikowych, co zrodzi nowy rodzaj branży która aż się prosi i czeka cierpliwie. Jaro

  • How about if we start recycling all the floating plastic that is in our oceans and make miles and miles of filament..!

  • "I can print this up tomorrow." Probably not this month. Defiantly cannot print that your first try. #ifyoucantryitseewhathappens

  • Hmmm? Two things he said that threw off my alarms.
    1. With the potential of plastic weapons, we will need new laws.
    Nope! Not gonna happen!
    2. We want to take this to Egypt because they "need" it there?
    Why? So they can make more weapons to carry out jihad?

  • i bought my first 3d printer a lil over 1 month ago. apparently he was right about the piking of the tech. and i believe the next few years will see a great amount of changes and perfecting in the industry, which will make it even more affordable, easy, and honestly, a lot of fun. if someone is thinkin about buyin one i suggest you do it, without regrets of any sorts. only thing you will need is a lil patience to set it up, but again, we already are on the edge of the next step, which is autoleveling.
    another thing, experimenting with different materials makes it even cooler, as you will be amazed by what a carbon fiber filament can do, or even PET. i made my own plastic bottle, entirely customized

  • Home consumer 3D printers were less like DVD players or iphones and more like 3D televisions. Sorry, guys.

  • even better, use HEMP filament. then use a DAO to market, recieve orders, and ship. and take customer service. its like a fully automated company from A to B.

  • Once you can replicate anything, including the replicators, you will end economics as we've known it. Radical decentralization as everyone owns their own universal means of production.

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