3D printing vending machines will make and sell everything

3D printers are amazing. When we all have a 3D printer at home, we'll be able to create things that we need and want out of absolutely nothing, for cheap. The possibilities are limitless, and thanks to the Internet, you don't even have to know how to design stuff: odds are, if you need a thing, someone else has already designed one, and you can download it and print it out for free.

It'll be a fantastic future, but we're not there yet, because not everybody has a 3D printer at home. They're expensive, and they're certainly not the easiest things in the world to use, especially for those of us without much in the way of DIY skills. This is why we're so excited about Dreambox— it's an on-demand 3D printing vending machine that takes care of all of the hard part for you.

Here's how Dreambox works: you need a thing. You find a 3D model of that thing, which is a lot easier than it sounds, and Dreambox makes it even easier than that. If you're a pro, you can upload your own, or modify existing designs. When you're ready, the nearest Dreambox will print out your thing, put your thing in a locker, and text you that it's ready. Head over to the Dreambox, unlock the locker with a special code, and take your thing home. It's that simple. You don't have to deal with any of the 3D printing process itself, you just tell Dreambox what thing you want, and then go get your thing when it's finished.

At the moment, Dreambox is only printing with bioplastic, but eventually it'll be able to make things in ABS, nylon, wood, or even metal. Since Dreambox isn't making the printer, just the vending system, it'll be able to quickly implement whatever the fanciest or most cost-effective hardware is available. Prices are quite reasonable (something like a custom GoPro mount might run you $10), and with multiple printers in one Dreambox, you shouldn't have to wait very long for your thing. 

We've seriously been waiting for this kind of thing for a long, long time, since it makes 3D printing accessible to people who have had no idea what they've been missing out on. Dreambox is currently in the prototype stage, and you can watch it make a thing in the video below.

Dreambox, via Inhabitat

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