"Catching Up to 3D Printing"
"Not only does digital production promise to transform the relationship of designers with the people who use their work, it will do the same to their rapport with manufacturers. Eventually, there could be a sophisticated 3D printing facility in every village and town, where local people can source customized products or repair existing ones, as their ancestors did at nearby blacksmith’s forges. Doubtless, tech savvy entrepreneurs are already planning to open them.
In this scenario, designers will be less dependent on finding manufacturers that are willing to realize their ideas; they will be able to produce their own prototypes and to become increasingly entrepreneurial in selling their work directly to consumers. “Design Beyond Production,” an exhibition running through Aug. 18 at the Z33 design center in the Belgian city of Hasselt, is exploring that phenomenon."