Imagine a world where owning a 3-D printer is as common as owning a smartphone. In that world, if you lose the back of your earring, you can just download the design for the backing and print it. You can design and print whatever you need, whenever you need it.

According to industry insiders, that is what our reality is going to look like five to 10 years from now.

Some of that new 3-D-reality might feel hard to imagine now, but that’s to be expected, says Natacha Alpert, curator of the 3-D Print Design Show and founder of Miras3d, a consultancy that helps brands integrate 3-D printing technology into their long-term growth strategies.

“People can’t conceive of it now, but people maybe couldn’t have imagined there would be a job at Instagram 10 years ago,” Alpert told Entrepreneur earlier this year at the Inside 3-D Printing in New York. “There are jobs and new ways of doing things that we can’t quite get a grasp on, but they will exist.”

To be sure, there’s virtually no way to know for sure how we will be living and working with 3-D printing in the future, but the CEOs, entrepreneurs and artist-designers featured in the video above have about as good an idea as anyone.

Check it out.


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