It was not long ago that Isaac Asimov has envisioned the videophone. Just a couple of decades later, his conceptualization of such a device turned into a reality.
Long after he’s gone, Skype is now used as a verb given how often it is used. Yet it’s not the only software that can offer the benefits of a videophone.
What makes these times all that more exciting is the evolution of 3D Printing or additive manufacturing. One can reproduce an object of just about any shape from a digital file. This, in turn, will change manufacturing from the top down.
All you would need is the blueprint of the object as well as a 3D printer. Of course, learning how to use it will be another matter altogether.
Speaking of which, there are courses offered in Auto CAD and Google Sketchup that offer software versions at no cost at all. Mastering the way you create an object can be learned over a period of time and which you can use to create a variety of objects.
Some of these include making your own inventions and hobby-based objects such as aircraft modeling and so on and so forth. Now, it must be pointed out that its use goes far beyond just hobbyists but also in virtually every manufacturing industry. These include aerospace, medical replacements, defense, automotive and architecture too. The first phase usually involves rapid prototyping and after which, mass production methods will be employed.
Of course, these 3D printers have been around since the 70s and while the costs of procuring one was at about $20,000, their costs have dropped to as low as $1000 since 2010.
Some people have predicted that with costs dropping so low, people will begin manufacturing personal products as well.
This will mean a paradigm shift from the way society manufactures items for whatever purpose. A revolution that will hopefully curtail the ill-effects of large scale manufacturing on the environment.
That said, it should be obvious that taking a course in such an exciting field such as 3D printing can open up options like never before.