Will folks be out of work when 3D printers improve

Im talking printers that can make most items,factory and retail not needed. Whores will always be needed but what about the rest?

Printers are not out of work, just because everyone has a printer at home.

It will still be a lot cheaper to mass produce, then to 3d print.

For certain groups, yes. If your only skill is knowing how to operate a machine that produces widgets that a 3D printer can make just as well and nearly as cheaply, you might find yourself pretty much fucked.

The new era is going to be different from any other in history. Creativity and the ability to design and market designs is going to become more vital than at any other time. In addition, the markets for training people to be able to design, etc is going to also become more vital.

There will of course always be a market for the craftsman, and for those who produce what connot be 3D printed/replicated (live long and prosper, muthafucka!). For example, the chef who creates one of a kind dishes that change on a daily basis. Or the tailor who creates custom made suits different for each customer. But, your mass manufacturing peon? Yeah, their jobs are getting less and less every year. I don't think they will ever go away (as mentioned above, for example I doubt anyone is going to be 3D pritning a car in the next decade or so), but their jobs will become a lot fewer.

Will mass cullings take place to thin the herd?

I don't think so (although out resident CTers will trumpet that to the hills), but there will have to be a major readjustment of the economic system. However, that has happened before. We went from a mostly agrarian system to an industrial system in the 19th century, to a transportation international market fueled system in the 20th to what some are now terming the information based system now. How that all works out is still to be seen.

Chocolate Shatner's post made me think about Alvin Toffler's book, the Third Wave, which discusses the information revolution, as well as earlier waves, like the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. Technology cuts both ways; it creates new jobs while eliminating old ones. That said, it has always been, and likely will always be, messy.

as 3D printing increases the need to have qualified maintenance and repair personnel will increase.

people whose jobs will no longer be needed will need to adapt a new set of skills . Phone Post 3.0

Wont be enough employment in that sector for all the people put out of work because of the device.

Doesn't 3D printers make everything out of plastic?

Who wants a plastic wrench? Phone Post 3.0

Barbasol, it depends on the plastic being used. There are plastics now that are just as strong as the metals used in most household applications. But think about it. Using various plastics, you could make (in your house)

1. Your dishes
2. Your clothing
3. Your furniture and bedding
4. Many household appliances

And that is without using metals. If you start to include "moldable" metals for conductive surfaces, you could honestly 3D print the entire fucking computer you are reading this post on.

When advances in plastics go to the point of being as strong, durable, and heat resistant as most common metal applications, the only thing you might need to go out and buy might be your car (and you could 3D print replacment parts for a lot of that).

Even more, if recycling of materials gets advanced, you could see a truly Star-Trekian like "use once, and recycle" system develop. Think of it, 3D print your favorite pair of shorts, use them for a month or two, then throw the whole damned thing in a recycler and renew it. Even if the material isn't as durable as that used now, who gives a fuck? Use it two or three times, throw it in the recycler, and make a new one.

With that in mind, I'd hate to see what the OG does with Real Dolls.

How would things like metal gears for washer be made? How long could this last in use?

Edumacate me OG Phone Post 3.0

KJ! - Why go buy a wrench when I can print one! Phone Post 3.0

Because its drop forged, heat treated, plated etc. Also economy of scale compared to slow additive process. Phone Post

Barbasol OOTFFTT - How would things like metal gears for washer be made? How long could this last in use?

Edumacate me OG Phone Post 3.0

Why does it need to be metal? Even now many home appliances have their gears and stuff made of plastics. Nuts, bolts, gears, almost everything outside the wiring and magnets of the motor itself can be made of a plastic. In fact, I bet if you flip over your washer and look now, or open up your blender and look, you'd find an amazing amount of plastics.

I wouldn't be surprised if the concept was applied to manufacturing industries and further reduced the number of employees necessary to operate the plants. Phone Post 3.0

Teleportation instant delivery will come before you can 3D print complex electronics ;-) Phone Post 3.0

A couple things:

-It is cheaper & more convenient to mass produce & ship than it is to one-off things, & the economics behind that aren't changing anytime soon. We are still locked into that model for a long time. People who want hard copies of books & magazines generally don't download them & print them out even though that is very easy to do.

-3D printers that use more durable materials are just a matter of time. Moore's Law.

-I'm reminded of Doug Stanhope's bit "Shouldn't we be shooting for 100% unemployment?"

3D printers and automation will be the death of capitalism.

BarkLikeADog - A couple things:

-It is cheaper & more convenient to mass produce & ship than it is to one-off things, & the economics behind that aren't changing anytime soon. We are still locked into that model for a long time. People who want hard copies of books & magazines generally don't download them & print them out even though that is very easy to do.

-3D printers that use more durable materials are just a matter of time. Moore's Law.

-I'm reminded of Doug Stanhope's bit "Shouldn't we be shooting for 100% unemployment?"

Ah, but most of the cost saving and conveniece of mass production comes from a few things:

1. Purchasing of raw materials in bulk.
2. Labor saving of mass production.
3. Speed of using the assembly line process.

If/when 3D printers get up in level and convenience, then all three of those may be eclipsed. For example, if the raw materals of the 3D printer are basically all the same (plastic ingredients) then your average person could order/stock the raw materals for home usage just as easily as some people go to Costco now to buy big ass bags of rice. At that point, price savings from mass production are negligible.

Labor saving would also be moot. Sure, I can't sew a pair of pants as well as a mass produced factory. But, if all I have to do is order the fucking thing up on my computer and have a 3D printer make it, then the quality is the same.

Finally, speed. As 3D printers evolve, their speed and quality will also improve. When I was in elementary school, a dot matrix printer might shoot out 5-6 pages of dot matrix black and white in a minute. Now, I can buy a color laser jet for the same price (cheaper if you factor in inflation) that will shoot out full page professional quality photo prints at the same speed or perhaps even faster.

You consistently bring up books, but I think that is an isolated case in that the technology did not develop as fast as another competing technology. First of all, book binding technology for the home has never really taken off. Sure, I can print out my downloaded copy of a book, but then I'm stuck more or less punching holes in the fucker and putting it in a 3 ring binder. A professionally bound copy is better looking.

However, even that is being replaced by the convenience of e-books. Why should I cart around 10 pounds of books when my 1 pound tablet has an e-reader program that allows me to read that same 10 pounds and the entire fucking library of Congress on it as well? If e-book technology had not progressed as fast as it has, we might have seen a short era where home printing was popular. However, computer and Internet technology supplanted books for a lot of casual reading purposes.

The shipping industry could take a serious hit if they go mainstream and costs come way down.