3-D printing makes prototyping ideas much easier, meaning more inventors creating more new technologies. It also means a revolution in the way consumer goods are created and shipped. Engineers are also working to change our habit of single-material manufacturing, where each part much be produced separately and then fitted together at a later stage. Professor of computing at Cornell University, Hod Lipson says: “We are making materials within materials, and embedding and weaving multiple materials into complex patterns.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Computing power has grown at exponential rates. Today, an hour of CPU processing, including electricity, costs fractions of a cent. In fact, computing is now the cheapest resource we can use to solve complex problems. This power will be amplified by the cloud, which will bring powerful computing to developing countries. The combination of 3-D printing and near-infinite computing power will take useful inventions across the globe instantly and cost virtually nothing. It will prove the world’s best poverty-fighting mechanism yet.