With new trends favoring product personalization, does it still make sense to identify your “market of one”? Dennon Oosterman, CEO and co-founder of ReDeTec and co-inventor of the company’s 3D printing recycling system, asks, “Why can’t we sell to everyone?” The fact that 3D printing can do everything may well be the killer application that puts it in every home. But if consumers can make their own products, will mass manufacturing no longer be needed? And where does that leave mechanical engineers?
Don’t worry—consumers are terrible designers. While they may be able to use generative design and 3D printing to make anything, most people don't have the time or talent to create tasteful, working products. Oosterman argues that the future of product design and mass personalization is “balanced design,” where consumers, engineers, and computers are all involved in creating beautiful, functional, customized products. ReDeTec aims to take this idea even further into the future by enabling consumers to recycle products and print new ones to meet their changing needs, making 3D printing more sustainable.
Watch Oosterman’s talk to see balanced design in practice. To learn more about the new class of consumers whose primary concern is “what’s in it for me,” watch the full Autodesk University 2015 Innovation Forum.