Soon you'll 'evolve' yourself new furniture using 3D printing

Most of the time, when you buy something, you end up getting someone else's idea of what you really want. With custom 3D printing becoming cheaper and more available, the options for customization are endless, and a new service could allow the "evolution" of new products that are perfect for you.

Evolution, at its most basic, is the idea that good and useful things will tend to be favored in designs over things that are not quite so good and useful. You can see it all over the place in animals, but it's equally true in products: version 2.0 of your computer or car or sunglasses or furniture takes everything that was good about version 1.0 and makes it better, while mixing in a bunch of new stuff at the same time. Or at least, that's the idea.

But why should you have to suffer through version 1.0 to get to version 2.0? Consider the extremes: either a company makes one product efficiently that's very cheap but not exactly what you want, or a company instead makes many products that are heavily customized and cost a ton. Reality is somewhere in the middle, but it doesn't have to be, since 3D printing is starting to allow for heavily customized items to be produced cheaply, and it's only getting more efficient.

So, great. We can print exactly what we want for cheap. The tricky part now is figuring out exactly what we want, which is where the whole evolution thing comes in.

EndlessForms is a website that will let you design anything (anything!) by presenting a basic shape and then rapidly mutating and evolving the shape until you get something that's perfect for you. For example, say you want a new lamp. You choose a basic lamp shape on the EndlessForms website and start to evolve it. For each "generation," the site will introduce a few random mutations into the basic lamp shape, and you can pick which ones you like.

These mutations are carried into the next generation, and the process repeats, until eventually you've got a lamp which has been evolved to suit your tastes exactly. Then you just print it out, and there you go, a totally new, totally unique, and totally perfect lamp. The same concept works for couches, sunglasses, computers, cars, houses, or whatever will eventually be able to be 3D printed.

That "eventually" is a ways off for everything but the most basic of shapes at this point, as computing power is still a limiting factor on the software side and 3D printers are only just starting to be able to integrate multiple materials and electronic circuits. But the possibilities are intriguing, and as the technology evolves, so will our options for never having to compromise on design ever again.

Via EndlessForms

(Thanks Travis!)

For the latest tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @dvice