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Kentucky Fried 3D Printing

A picture of a broken window by Carl Byron Batson

Colonel Sanders is known for many things.

Amongst the chicken community, he is seen as the Destroyer of Worlds, the Archfiend and the Bringer of Woe. Amongst teenage boys, bachelors and students who can’t cook, he is seen as both source of manna and wet nurse. In Japan, rather inevitably, it is even stranger. Meanwhile, for the manufacturing industry, he could be well be its saviour.

How so? The Colonel showed that it is intellectual property and how it is shared and monetised that will be key to success. For this, we need to look into his past.

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2 Comments on Kentucky Fried 3D Printing

  1. Trevor Bacon // 15/12/2013 at 11:10 // Reply

    Maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves because currently it takes a lot of time to manufacture using these systems. a sheet metal press can produce hundreds or thousands of a particular component in a fraction of the time. However one has to also think of the time that it takes to prepare the metal for manufacture, with these systems all that needs to be produced is the powder. Also perhaps it may create openings in crafting handmade goods, bespoke shoes from natural leather. People may even begin to appreciate, look after and repair, like we all used to go to the snobs to get our shoes re heeled and so on. Then what about small repair shops, think of the fact that no longer will the life of any product be dictated by the availability of spare parts. The original designers/ manufacturers could gain a small royalty each time that part is reproduced. Apparently they are so good now they can be used to make jet engine parts so I don’t see a problem with a hoover. With the revolution in robotics I can’t see any reason why they can’t make a home PCB board manufacturing system that can also be controlled by a home computer.

    When I think of it it is one of the things that makes me very hopeful for the future. One of the best things is that we can all become inventors. Also it means that we can get past this madness with production where things have to be produced in the largest quantities possible with built in obsolescence and well defined life spans. We could also get past all this wall to wall advertising. Perhaps it may even mean that people will be less moved to by the latest version of this or that product. Also take the problem of tools, most people buy a set of tools that basically get used once in a blue moon. Without the tool you can’t do the job but most of the time it simply sits in the box. If you could have access to any tool ‘on demand’, and you only produced the tools you needed, when you felt you needed them then the likely hood is that you would only manufacture a very few tools. Take a socket set. On the whole most bolts will be in the range of 10mm to 17mm, the sockets used most often will be 10mm, 11mm, 13mm, all the rest, 3mm to 9mm and from 19mm to whatever just sit in the box and are seldom if ever used. Some other specialists will used only the small sizes while heavy engineering will use only the massive sockets. On that basis for life I think there could be a revolution in the way we think about what we need, most of what we have is clutter.

    On the whole though I do wonder if this will be anything but an interesting and very useful tool for those who are interested in such things and that people will still be buying the bulk of their purchases in the traditional way.

    • ThisIsTrickyDisco // 18/12/2013 at 08:43 // Reply

      ‘People may even begin to appreciate, look after and repair, like we all used to go to the snobs to get our shoes re heeled and so on. ‘

      This is something we need to be doing anyway, regardless of 3d printing. Concern for the environment is one good reason, but as ever, it needs to appeal to other needs too. I’ve not heard the cobbler’s referred to as ‘the snobs’ before, but it’s an interesting little phrase. I’d love to know where that comes from.

      But anyway, I really recommend a good cobbler if you can find one. A re-heeled/re-soled pair of winter boots will last another couple of winters for much less than the price of a decent pair of new boots. Fewer wasted resources, cheaper, plus you get to hold onto what might be a much-loved pair of boots.

      Apply the same sort of thinking to the rest of your life – reject the vapid culture of disposability and embrace durable quality. It saves money in the long run, and you get the added luxury of having better things.

      Which is why 3d printed items will be fine for knickknacks and internal components, but won’t replace wood, leather, natural fabrics etc in the luxury end of the market

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