3D printers are great and people are excited about them, but we’re really only scratching the surface of their capabilities. These kinds of printers are already sneaking up on people. They’re having a hard time imagining a world where people really use them and they’re not just the sort of science fiction gadgets that are sort of available but not really. They really are here, they really are available, and people really can use them for lots of things even today. Before much longer, among other things, we’ll have fabrics on demand.
It’s possible that many of the clothing stores of the future will involve people buying patterns for the clothes that they want to print online and then sending the information to their 3D printers, at which point the clothes will be printed out right in front of them in their own homes. Some people might want to print out fabrics in the same way, and they’ll partly make their own clothes. However, they’re still going to be the ones who seemingly control the production of the clothes, or that is how it is going to seem to the people who are used to buying clothes in a store.
People who get fabrics on demand are going to be able to wear what they want when they want it. They’ll truly have the opportunity to change their styles easily. They won’t have to wait for their new clothes to arrive in the mail since their clothes are going to be there for the printing right away. Shipping and handling costs will go out the window as a result, and the environmental implications of no longer having to ship clothes around the country as much are staggering. 3D printing technology is going to give people the opportunity to truly have the freedom that they’ve always wanted over their clothes, and that’s how it’s going to be for the people of the near future.
It’s going to be weird printing out clothes the way you print out documents. Then again, printing out documents in your living room used to be weird too, and it’s one of the most banal things that we do in a regular day now. Printing out a new business suit in time for the big meeting is going to be a thing, and people can talk about how they were late because something went wrong when they were trying to print out their suits. It’s the kind of futuristic problem that you expect people to have, sort of like a superhero problem. Problems that are caused by additional capabilities are good ones to have.