Perhaps one of the most startling effects of 3D printing is not in the grand implications like making bones or airplanes (though that is super cool) but in how it’s going to change standard manufacturing. Take these cufflinks for example. They are pretty cool. Maybe not your style but you could see how someone would like them. Using Shapeways, the designer, GothamSmith, doesn’t need to carry any overhead as a business except what it takes to come up with the design. In most cases, this is just experience and a laptop. Otherwise the designs are sent off to Shapeways and when someone wants a fine pair of golden barrel cufflinks they order them—and they’re printed.
Someday however, people could have that Shapeways printer in their home. There was once a time where people didn’t own personal 2D printers either. There was a time when people had to go to a pharmacy to get pictures developed. There could be a time where we once had to go to the local jeweler to pick up a pair of golden barrel cufflinks.