Hi guys, I very rarely post here since I have nothing worthwhile to say most of the time but I came across this little piece of news about Staples beginning to introduce 3d printing machines to their stores.http://www.kurzweilai.net/staples-3d-printing-service
Right now the resolution of the prints are likely low and the costs are fairly high, but in the coming years both are sure to change. The sturdiness of the material is also yet to be seen, but resin 3d printers also exist and might supplement these machines in a few years.
What this means to me is that savvy modders will soon be able to print their own gun designs, alternate heads, modified hands, arms, doors, etc. and potentially even make them available to the community. I can't help but compare the cost of that 9 euro chess piece ine the promotional video to some of the expensive add-on kits like the classics cliffjumper, ultra magnus, and rodimus prime accessories that have been released in recent years; and part of me wonders if it can't be done cheaper already.
Looking a bit farther I can imagine some third party companies embracing this and cutting the costs of those very expensive metal molds needed to cast plastic AND all shipping fees. This one is still a few years off of course since the machines can't yet work in color or hold fine enough detail. It would be great to see $100 toys drop down to $10 files,$40 prints, and $.50 screws.
Further still, We might even see Hasbro embrace that same idea as shipping costs rise and the technology improves. Probably not likely for another decade at least though.
Maybe my head is in the clouds a bit but I can certainly see a technology like this having an impact on at least the fringes of collecting and modding.
Anyway, the whole thing was thought provoking to me and I hope it will spark some ideas with a few of you as well. I'll be going back to my usual lurking now.