3D printers will be in every home within a decade, thinks Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International. “I think every home within 10 years, probably less than that, will have its own 3D printer, just as many homes now have a 2D or laser printer,” is what he recently said during the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, an three-day event in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
He thinks it will revolutionize the way the world works and the technology has always been used in media and entertainment industries. A perfect example of this utilization is “Carbon Freeze-Me”, an attraction in Disney World since 2012. It lets visitors to the Star Wars Weekends relive the famous carbon freezing scene from The Empire Strikes Back using 3D printing technology. Visitors of this years Star Wars weekend were offered the chance to put their face on a 3D printed Stormtrooper figure.
Disney’s D-Tech Me Experience is another example of Disney’s use of 3D printing technologies. Ordinary girls could become princesses with the help of photo cameras as well as 3D scanners and 3D printers. They were offered the possibility to create their own figurines. For the look of the figurines they could choose one of seven different Disney princesses, including Ariel, Rapunzel and Snow White. To finish the figurine they could choose the hair, skin and eye color of the statuette.
Disney brings techniques like this to more than 17 million visitors every year and lets kids and their parents experience 3D printing for the first time. A lot of them might have never even seen a 3D printer before. This display of 3D printing to a big audience makes the whole project groundbreaking.