Now and again, a technology comes along that can be described as a "game changer." That is, a technology that is so revolutionary that it can change not just the dynamics of our economy but also act as a catalyst for social change at some level, whether it be by wealth creation, emancipation of some description or in some way to contribute to the greater good. Television, the personal computer, the web and mobile telephony would be but a handful of examples.
3 D printing may be the next big thing that changes the world we live in. 3 D printing, for those who have not yet heard about it, isn't just some clever machine for printing brightly coloured origami flowers............... take a look at this...
Now, making a spanner is all well and good but imagine a world where you can design something at home and then drive to your local Kwik Fit type garage and have it produced on an industrialised 3 D printer within minutes, just as you might take a disk to Jessops to have some prints done. The acceleration of innovation will be incredible across all fields. None of that age old stuff of boffins trudging the streets for years trying to find a backer for their new vacum cleaner or whatever; it'll be as easy as popping into Sainsburys.
(Obviously, the career for kids to head into will be intellectual property law which will boom).
Medicine is already leading the field in development............. look here
Think too what it will mean for cheap manufacturers across the world; China will be nothing without a massive uplift in intellectual creativity for example and it will impact supply chains, energy costs and of course retailers across the world.
Wouldn't it be nice if it improved the quality of life at the same time? Actually, I'm looking forward to the reemergance of the British Boffin who has been in hibernation for far too long and am left only to ask, "Will it be able to print one of these for me?