What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Is A Home 3D Printer Worth The Expense?

August 2, 2013, 1:45 PM
Shutterstock_115175587

What's the Latest Development?

A paper newly published in Mechatronics describes the work of a team of Michigan Tech researchers, who chose to study 20 common household items whose schematics are available on the 3D printing site Thingiverse. They used Google Shopping to determine the maximum and minimum prices associated with those items. The result: "[I]t would cost the typical consumer from $312 to $1,944 to buy those 20 things compared to $18 to make them in a weekend." Given the ever-lowering costs of home 3D printers, the team estimated that the printers would pay for themselves fairly quickly even if a typical family only made 20 items a year.

What's the Big Idea?

Team leader Joshua Pearce notes that even though 3D printing is a bit more involved than 2D printing, the process is rapidly becoming easier and more affordable, and along with the increased availability of free designs, "we are creating enormous potential wealth for everyone...It would be a different kind of capitalism." He also says that the ability to provide highly customized items benefits consumers, especially those in developing countries who have limited access to certain goods.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at KurzweilAI

 

Is A Home 3D Printer Worth ...

Newsletter: Share: