It had to come. Aldi is selling 3 Dimensional printers. Of all the quirky things that are selling in their middle isles! Last week it had self lifting toilet seats, foldable wheel chairs, a drone with spare blades, and boxes of Allen keys. The Allen keys are needed to assemble the toilet seat, the drone and wheel chair. I often notice the shopper picking up products of which their use remains totally baffling and mysterious. They proceed to look it up on the notice board to read what it actually is. Afterwards the gaze travels back to object and turn it around fondly, happy in the new-found knowledge of the totally useless product. Many then use the mobile phone to transmit the good news about this mysterious product back to a spouse or partner, possibly for approval.
Of course the real shopper buys it regardless. They don’t care what it is. That is the magic of clever commerce and mindless shopping. In any case, this week it is the special 3D printer. It comes with different coloured spools of what looks like very strong shark-fishing line.
I must admit that if the choice last week was between buying the self-lifting toilet seat or a drone, I would have gone for the drone. The idea of a need to be propelled upwards in an upright position after the use of the loo, fills me with dread. It seems like only yesterday I was soaking off postage stamps from my parents letters and neatly arranging them in my album. This was way back in the serenity of Holland, back in Rotterdam and the use of postal stamps. I still have the album in which I could add extra pages. The pages were held together by screws and nuts. Some of the stamps date back to the 1800’s.
In fact, I was fantasising about hovering the drone by remote control, while hiding well out of sight, menacingly over our Body Corporate ‘bad neighbour’s’ backyard, taking pictures of her while cutting down more of her garden, or worse, slashing other peoples’ gardens. I must desist.
Is the 3D printer the start of a new era as the computer or internet were experienced so many years ago? Jets are flying with components made by 3D printers and the printing of artificial limbs and body parts is becoming the norm. It is actually called ‘additive manufacturing.’ It makes replacing broken items now within the reach of everyone. I suppose I could use it to make soles for my shoes or a replacement for the broken battery holder for the remote control of the TV.
Soon our lounge room or office will store the 3D printer in addition to computer, normal printer, phone and files, errant laptop, a cooling fan and column heater, chairs, books on computers and virus detection, boxes of discs and lonely chargers, and of course miles of cables and power extensions going in all directions. Some people have 3D printing another 3D printer as a replacement or spare.
In social situations, we will mingle around and after a couple of drinks, ask how the 3D printing is going. A brave man might well mention in a jocular fashion. ‘You are looking very nice today, Mavis.’ ‘Are you wearing your new 3D’s today?’ Mavis was known to have started a small business 3D printing lingerie with matching boudoir items to sulk with.
No doubt mobile 3D printers will come about and people will be seen crossing the street all terribly busy with the 3D printing of boxes of hot chips with 2l coke or a quick coffee. On line 3D dating will be eagerly exploited. Photos of blokes proudly showing 3D printed additions. Girls will advertise showing 3D printed cleavages with proportionally alluring 3D printed hips.
It will come about.