Everyone's now aware of 3D printing — they’ve read about it in the papers, on blogs or seen it on TV.
Michael Dunham's insight:
I fully agree that 3D printing is not for everyone…yet. However not everyone needs a prosthetic leg either. The point is, for those that it helps, either thing can be indispensable.
The author glosses over the fact that Manufactures don't just make a mass produced parts from thin air. The prototyping for the initial mold has always been a long and painful process requiring many prototypes. It generally requires a tool and die maker that knows what they are doing and it's still a specialized skill that you have to pay a salary for. So now, that company can print out 5 different options in a day... and see which will work and what their issues are. At 10K per mold, I would want to get it right the first time.
At one time, video tapes could only be found in studios, and CD burners in Universities, but the technology adapts, becomes cheaper and finally ubiquitous.