Had Enough 3DP “Gee-Whiz?” How About Some 3DP “Get Wizardry?”—Time To Go From Hype To How-To On The 3DP Power Curve!

You Know A Revolution Is Real When The Folks In The Street Start Using Their Torches To Illuminate The Way And Their Pitchforks To Clear The Path To Their Personal Futures—And Everyone’s Public Fulfillment…

Fireworks & Bombards at the Brooklyn Bridge

Fireworks & Bombards at the Brooklyn Bridge

If you’re like us, it’s hard not to be blinded by the constant fireworks and bombards of new 3DP innovations, products, systems and services rocketing across the world’s consciousness—and down the not-so-distant arc of our collective future. With all the accompanying Oohs  and Ahhs. AND, strategic bedazzlement…

Still—at this point—all the aggregate creativity and commercial pyrotechnics HAVE begun to shed light on where the 3DP revolution is headed. Now is the time for the starry-eyed to refocus on how-to actually begin using 3DP profitably across the broader spectrum of 3DP-susceptible commercial activity…

That is the “how-to” of 3DP implementation in the vertical segments and sectors of business.  For (as I like to say) the betterment of community commerce and common-good—the social “verticals”: the ones that matter most.

If there’s a new ethos driving all this—and I believe there IS—then it’s an artistic approach to science and a design-driving of technology. An anarchic analog filter bending our straight-line digital world-view toward creativity. Less perfection and precision; more practicality cum personality. Funky functionality.

Our tech-engined world is changing so rapidly that even incomplete knowledge is ever less possible. AND, may not matter—because the next tech breakthrough will vitiate past business decision-making “givens.” We’re all making more commercial judgments on fewer facts—because technological “truths” can be switch-flipped to commercial “falsehoods” by accelerating tech-engined change in the marketplace.

Steve Jobs: Creative by Design...

Steve Jobs: Creative by Design…

At the same time, many competitive-edge-seeking business people are now acutely aware that Steve Jobs proved “Design is the new black.” Apple’s incredible rocketing to world dominance as the planet’s most valuable company—in the years just before Jobs’ death—was empowered by Product Look-&-Feel, UI (User-Interface), UX (User Experience) and UT (User Transformation).

This last, this “UT”—State of Heart more than Mind—enabled the legendary Jobsian “Reality-Distortion Field.” It also empowered Apple’s irrational hold on the collective psyche of its hyper-loyal community of Believers. (Other companies just hope for occasionally meh-pacificed users.) Steve proved that successful product, industrial and interface design is more about emotion than engineering—and that kind of success can lead to segment dominance.

From the 3DP perspective, we’re right back to one of my favorite neologisms: “Techreative.” I’ve been using this term to describe the hybrid human (or, often, hybrid hipster?) who groks both tech and creativity—and can “synergize” the two as s/he uses 3DP technology. In our new 3DP/DigiFab world, Techreatives will rule. (And, did I say that NeoBrooklyn may have more of these incipient 3DP ArTechs than any other Ultra-Urban community in the world?)

Nuance (design creativity) trumps knowing (digital certainty). Just Enough Learning (JEL) + Collaboration Across the Net (CAN) delivers Good-Enough Tech (GET). (Think the spiritual/social grip of virally appreciated “Robohand“: the world-flung, DIT-inspired, iteration-organized, home-built, sprue-loose/less neo-prosthetic for metacarpal-challenged children that demo JEL CAN GET. Whoa!)


By David Lang

So, our 3DP stage is set for new uses of “how-to.” It’s time. DemosTech—our Democritizing Technology of 3DP—fosters phenomena like “JEL CAN GET.”

Because creativity doesn’t flow from credentialism. With 3DP, the formally untutored possess equal sway with Ph.Ds. The new Maker in her Space/ Place/ Lab/ Kitchen declaims—by hand—as expressively and effectively as the Professor at the podium. (For more, see Zero To Make, David Lang’s personal story-energized exegesis on the making of Makers; his subtitle says it all: “Learn (Just Enough) to Make (Just About) Anything.“)

How do we define “how-to”—and deliver it—when more and more 3DP-interested folks can begin real efforts of worth via JEL: Just Enough Learning?

(Wonder if I’m over-stating my case for further empowering DIY/DIT {Do-It-Together} grassroots 3DP fecundity? Here are FIVE new recent “fuels” for this engine of proactive change: {1} better CAD {Computer-Aided-Design} software, {2} wider selection of printing materials, {3} scanning as designing, {4} larger printer build-volumes and {5} shorter printing times.)

Let’s start with the how-to of i3E. Inspiration, Education, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development.

I could make a case for everything else in this semi-acronym—or, perhaps, all of life?!—stems from Inspiration. Without the desire and drive to act, “3DP” or “i3E” are just three characters on the page. And, humanity never gets out of bed.

Inspiration is that magic “ah ha”—a sparking/sparkling palindrome—that comes from an enigmatic amalgam of curiosity, questioning and what-if.

How do we “how-to” Inspiration? How long can we prolong childhood into old age? Or, at least the sensibility of the wondering child as flint and tinderbox to conflagrating creativity. (Perhaps the most important work of BioSci should be that prolongation of dewy imagination and burbling ingenuity.) Creativity is the coruscating gold of humanity.

Inspiration Lightbulb: 3DP'd Metal?? Thx to John L. Scott Partner Connection!

Inspiration Lightbulb: 3DP’d Metal??
Thx to John L. Scott Partner Connection!

The best I think we can probably do here—with the how-to of Inspiration—is to rebuild the “playgrounds” of childhood. In the hopes that pure play will rekindle the sparks of Inspiration—and the joy of finding-out and building up—unfettered by any need but unalloyed exploration. The giggling itch of curiosity scratched. In my mind—in the world of civilian and community-based 3DP—these playgrounds are now the Makerspaces that have coalesced out of new-tech empowerment and DIY/DIT inclinations.

The Maker Sensibility may just be another term for Inspiration aggregated and empowered.

Next time—right here—we’ll continue the exploration of our “how-tos” with the 3Es of i3E.


How-to and all, 3DP will grow into an entire ecosystem—with ancillary platforms and vectors likely to create an entire new constellation to blow our benighted minds. With constituent stars and configurations yet to align themselves in the balancing out—to sustainability—of capitalistic gravitational attraction and repulsion inherent in marketplace commerce.

And, you’re here at the Creation.

So much more to discuss…

C’mon Back!



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