3D printing “cheat sheet” infographic should’ve done better research

Infographics, if done well, are a great way to present information visually for easy consumption. This one starts out pretty well, but then they presented a predicted timeline of future 3D printing milestones. It is way too conservative about how quickly 3D printing will progress. They seem to be using best guesses based upon a linear progression rather than exponential growth.

Let’s take a look at the timeline. It says we’ll have 3D pens in 2015-2020? Uh, better take a look at the already over-funded Kickstarter 3Doodler project. Children will do 3D printer projects in school in 2030 – 2035? Come on! That’s the most ridiculous one on there. They are already beginning now, and I’m sure it will be a common occurance in most schools within a few short years. Human organs will be here way earlier than 2040, as will “food replicators.” The latest year on the timeline is 2060, and that’s when they predict a 3D printed moon base — since the government will likely be involved, they could have this one right!

Now that I’ve written that last paragraph, I’m thinking, why the heck am I publishing this anyway? What the heck, infographics are fun. And it’s always a kick to tear apart predictions of the future that are so far off.

I’m about to click Publish on this post and a friend just called to tell me that he just heard Matt Lauer is about to have a segment on 3D printing. I’m sure he’ll get the predictions of 3D printing’s future right.

3D printer infographic

Inforgraphic by Carriage Discount

  • xtin

    I found the support material sketch particularly amusing, as if it was an injection molding piece …