A new industrial revolution will have us rely less on retailers and more on our own creativity to produce goods that suit our desires and needs.

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From grabbing a hammer at Home Depot to picking up a new pair of Nike running shoes, we don’t tend to question a store’s ability to have access to products because the retail industry is designed to make us feel wholly dependent upon its existence.  Relying heavily on shops to stock and sell the products that we need has led to a serious imbalance between consumers and retailers, just like a romantic relationship where one partner loves the other one more. However, 3D printing may be the way to correct that disparity and create a proportional sense of ownership and access. While the media latched onto the “dangerous” potential to 3D print weapons last year, that furor detracted from the overwhelming opportunities that the technology opens up for artists, consumers, and brands alike.  Mainstream retailers like Staples have even begun to sell household 3D printers, and MakerBot has partnered with DonorsChoose.org to place a 3D printer in every school across America.

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