Ray Kurzweil, long-time inventor and futurist, is predicting that 3D printing is on the edge of revolutionizing manufacturing and industries. Kurzweil said that “I’ve been thinking about thinking for 50 years.” One example of a recent prediction is with the manufacture of clothing. Kurzweil told the New York Times that he expects that within the next ten years that on-demand self-designed clothing will become commonplace.
Kurzweil said that “as the variety of materials available to print in 3-D become more extensive and less expensive, both free open-source and proprietary clothing designs will be widely available online in as little as 10 years. By 2020 there will be a whole host of products available immediately to buy for pennies on the dollar and to print straight away. It will become the norm for people to have printers in their homes.”
Somewhat similar to Moore’s Law, Kurzweil believes in the Law of Accelerating Returns. It says that both software and hardware when applied to a certain task ultimately reach a critical mass where the technology to support the task grows exponentially. The result is a revolution or disruption for how things were done previously. Clothing is likely not the only manufactured item that 3D printing is likely to disrupt.