Simultaneously, many billions of children grow up with spotty-to-no electricity or indoor plumbing and limited access to textbooks. Access to technology and infrastructure can create and maintain a digital or more generally developmental divide. In certain areas, inventions and markets can do a lot of good, whereas, in others, government policy is needed to bring about change.
What of 3D printing then? Are we a great leveler, as well? Will we naturally spread the world with inexpensive functional devices ever cheaper and better? The improvement to desktop 3D printers over the last decade has been remarkable. A decade ago, none of them worked all of the time. Now, some sometimes do. As I’ve stated before, we are quite far from having a “toaster for stuff.” But, reliability and output have increased significantly. Nine years ago, the below video illustrates what Ultimaker co-founder Erik De Bruijn was capable of making.