Companies are working hard to make mass-produced 3D printed houses available within 5-7 years. This modern construction method could revolutionize our housing market with its cost and time saving qualities – something we would have never imagined a decade ago when only few firms had prototype projects. Get ready for an entirely out of this world way to construct your dream home!
when I do my print talks I often will drop in a couple of questions similar to this, I am a little surprised by the answers sometimes. I think the “revolution” will be underway when companies that sell small parts or replacement parts for household items stop selling parts and start selling STL files instead.
I think about appliance stores where you buy a replacement handle for your dryer. Maybe go to Parts source looking for a center console cover. When you go to GE looking for a handle and they offer to sell you an STL file as an option,
“You can have the STL file now or you will have to wait 2-4 weeks for delivery of the part.”
That’s the day we start living in the future none of us ever imagined. I think the question will go something like, “Yes sir, I can get that part for you. If you would like the Hard part the cost will be $10 and will be 2 weeks on delivery, Or I can offer you a Digital Model for $5 and you can have it in your inbox instantly.”
Which one would you choose?
A few years ago we had a dryer that failed because of a small plastic part that broke and it ended up being 6 months before Whirlpool told us they could not get a replacement.
I asked for the .stl or design file for the part so I could 3D print it. The request bounced around the Whirlpool company for a few months and I pushed as the part was part of the controls and the repairman took it with him to find a replacement in a bin. Finally, I got a letter from Whirlpool legal saying that they would not provide me with any design files or any other information that could allow to “infringe upon, copy, replicate or reverse engineer” their products.
Some suit equated the information that was part of a bellcrank that converted vertical motion to horizontal (with a hole for a pivot) was enough for me to recreate their complete dryer.
You’ll be waiting a while before legal attitudes change and they make .stls or .stp files available - don’t think about Fusion360 or AutoCad files.