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How 3D Printing Could Change the Home Improvement Industry

Posted September 10, 2015

With 3D printing, a home like this could one day be made by hand (or machine).

Image via Modernize

Image via Modernize

The invention of three-dimensional printers has the ability to entirely change the home improvement industry, making it possible for homeowners to skip the stores altogether and to create their own products from the comfort of their own homes. Because 3D printing technology is still relatively new, it can be difficult and expensive for the average homeowner to utilize these advancements just yet, although this will soon change in the very near future. Here’s an exciting peek of what’s to come:

Edible, Printable Food

Those sci-fi movies and cartoons you grew up watching may have seemed like a far-fetched fantasy—and while a blue housemaid robot in a frilly apron isn’t quite on the horizon yet, her to-the-rescue home help is. Natural Machines recently introduced the Foodini, an edible 3D printing machine designed to encourage healthier eating habits and to “streamline some of cooking’s more rote activities—forming dough into a dozen breadsticks, or filling and forming individual ravioli” that discourage many busy people from preparing time-consuming homemade meals.

The machine, set to release later this year, prints much the way a regular 3D printer operates but, instead of using plastics, nylon, wax, or steel, it will use completely edible ingredients. It’s able to print for a variety of different dishes and tastes, from sweet to savory and everywhere in between. Best yet, it’s also customizable: think uniquely portioned pasta servings and personalized nutritional content that will save you both wasted time and unnecessary hassle. Rosie would be proud.

Customizable Art and Home Décor

According to Modernize, one of the most fun elements of home improvement is home décor, or designing a space that reflects your personality and style, no matter how unconventional. And since 3D printing was once a technology that only existed in dreams, it makes sense that the idea still holds true—that if you can dream it, you can make it.

Maybe you’ve always pined for a T-Rex showerhead (pictured), love wall-mounted faux taxidermy but can’t find one small enough for your tiny apartment. Or maybe your design taste is more practical—you’d love a reading chair, but could it also have a footrest, cup holder, and a little storage space for your books? From footstools and picture frames to lampshades and planter pots, the options are only as limited as your imagination—and all according to the hyperspecific shape, color, material, and size of your choice.

Image via Gizmodo

Image via Gizmodo

Practical Parts

You’re just a few screwdriver turns away from proudly completing your IKEA kitchen table assembly, but that final screw is missing from the box. Rather than sit through rush-hour traffic and endless lines for such an itty-bitty piece, simply print one out on your Makerbot—your grumbling stomach will thank you.

A broken drawer handle or replacement part for your vacuum can be easily replicated, not to mention how home 3D printing will also simplify the need for expensive or very specific tools. The sky is the limit for the efficient home necessities that will make your life a little easier in tiny ways you may never have thought of—an iPhone stand and speaker (pictured), a doorstep, a toothpaste tube squeezer, or even a garlic press. The ability to replicate the exact pieces you need, is environmentally friendly, and also saves money.

Future implications for 3D printing and home improvement

While 3D printing facilities are limited at the moment, when DIY enthusiasts have the ability to produce basic home improvement materials such as screws and nails, nuts and bolts, and other building products, these areas of home improvement stores may indeed become obsolete. With its extreme convenience and independence, once homeowners get their hands on 3D printed architectural prototypes and models, the entire home improvement industry will be revolutionized.

Written by Kaitlin Krull

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