I've just had a massive introduction to the world of RP/PF and the like.
(Many thanks to the Ennex Corporation to their library of documents.)
Naturally, my head is swimming with ideas in the consumer market for the
PF. But the big leap seems to be getting to the point of the PF.
Thinking along those lines, I can think of one thing that'll create a
massive demand for a PF, and that's real-time RP in the stores. An
arts-and-crafts store. Or a candy store. Both are simple and practical
The upcoming Valentine's day is an excellent example of enticing the
mass market with the idea of the PF. Personalized etches of pictures or
messages into chocolate (simple automated carving or dot-matrix type
impressions or, yes, lasers). Or in the craft store, custom moldings
(even as simple as a 2d image extended into 3d space). On the high-end
of the market, creation of elaborate and intricate designs that would
normally take hours of work and may be too delicate to ship
conventionally. (Even more interesting would be multiple moldings that
link together to create a bigger and more complex object.)
True, they do stuff like this today, for example, etching of pictures
with a laser onto grave markers. But that doesn't whet the public's
appetite for multiple reasons (low entertainment level, low practical
level, not real-time, grief, nobody expecting to need a lot of grave
markers, etc). Although I'll bet that if a Home Depot or Garden Ridge
did elaborate stone etchings on the spot (and more importantly, on a
variety of objects), that would create some excitement!
We've already seen some of the customization technology, on a limited
basis, to create dog tags at Petsmart. But the scope is so focused and
the demand is so limited that it, again, doesn't capture the attention
of the consumer.
What kind of customization application in a commercial environment is it
going to take to make everyone want their own PF or RP device for
personal or entertainment purposes?
PS: I really see the idea of types of PFs being excellent for
entertainment, amusement, and enjoyment.
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