I am Simon and lets talk about the situation of 3D printing. I divided my speech into two parts. The first one is current thoughts and the work of the high-end engineer and how do the engineer think about the future development. And the second part is about the difficulty in making this technology popular.
As my teammates said, the current 3D printing technology is using the principle that we divided an object into layers and print the layers one by one, and one over another. There may be different ways to print a particular layer, like molding and photo polymerization but the main idea is still that we are using some fundamental material to create an layer and join them systematically.
If we could understand this, it is not hard to imagine it will be nearly impossible to carry out the synthesis of every objects, to make everything; otherwise, the machine should be injected with millions of fundamental material in order to form things accurately. For example, if you want to make a gun, you got to have different kinds of metal, alloy. It just seems to us using a 3D printer will make life more complicated. How to avoid this situation?
Smart engineer actually are working on turning some sophisticated machines into simple ones so that with only the fundamental material, we can make everything. For example, they try to make plastic gun, plastic musical instrument, etc. Finally, the machine design will be in a printable version, we print the component of it, group them together, and we will have what we want.
Moreover, actually many things like mobile phone cases are just made out of plastic. Thus, some big company like Nokia seize the opportunity to turn objectified phone cases into computer files and provide a new kind of services, selling 3D printing draft of phone cases instead of the real ones.
Other things, like musical instrument which originally are not made up of plastic may now have their plastic version. And some...