One day we'll have a 3D printer in our homes that can 'print' items like chairs and lamps made from composite material, or so Janne Kyttanen of rapid prototyping firm...

One day we'll have a 3D printer in our homes that can ‘print' items like chairs and lamps made from composite material, or so Janne Kyttanen of rapid prototyping firm Freedom of Creation believes. People will download a CAD type design from the web, customize it and then print it!

This process is called stereolithography, the development of which is being spearheaded by Freedom Of Creation. An article in this month's Surface Magazine this month describes how rapid prototyping will lead to mass-customization. If the 3D stereolithography MGX file becomes as popular as the JPEG then the consumer product industry will face the same problems one day that the music industry just went through with digital downloads (although PSFK suggests that in order to make this happen, the owners of MGX need to make it open-source).

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