With myeducation background in Industrial design, have had the opportunity to workwith rapid prototyping for developing new products. As this becomes mainstream,the following advantages and disadvantages vs. traditional manufacturingmethods become clear:Advantages:1. Iterations and mass user testing of products beforeintroducing them directly to the market means that user testing is involved ata much earlier stage than before.
This allows for on-demand manufacturing, which is both sustainable and cost-effective inthe long run. 2. Each product can now be made unique as per the needsand variables defined by the customer permitting mass customization. 3. Especially for highly specialized and expensiveproducts with complex geometries, reusingold versions could be made possible by allowing users to make their ownproduct replacement parts rather than buying a new one. 4.
Designers andmanufacturing companies will be able to focus micro-markets such as developing nations, disable consumers etc. tocreate highly functional products that are customized to their uniquerequirements. Disadvantages:1. Personal fabrication could be used abused to create and proliferate destructive orharmful products.
2. To avoid piracy and protect the intellectual property, software designers will need to work closelywith developers to have copy protection or limited usage in place.3. Freedom to access customizability may also lead to wastage.4.
Their might be materialand cost limitations involved.