A tie in the desert and 3D Printing

June 7, 2015
Written by Diogo Quental

 A tie in the desert and 3D Printing – Active or Passive?


A man was lost in the Desert and was wandering around without water or food for 5 days. Suddenly in the far distance he saw something. Hoping to find water he slowly walked towards the image, only to find a little old guy sitting at a card table with a bunch of neckties laid out on the table. The man approached and asked, ” Please, I am dying of thirst, can I have some water ?”
The old man replied, ‘ Water I ain’t got, but why don’t you buy a nice silk tie? Here’s a green one that would look good with your tattered shirt.” The man shouted, “I don’t want a tie! I won’t buy a tie you idiot, I need water!”
OK, so don’t buy a tie already. If you want water my brother Sam has a place about two miles from here over that hill there. Sam has plenty of water and good food if you want. Sam , my brother, has a nice restaurant for these parts.
The man thanked the old tie seller and walked slowly towards the hill, and eventually he disappeared from view. Three hours later, in the blazing sun, he came crawling back to where the old man was still sitting behind his display of ties. The old man asked, ” Couldn’t you find my brother Sam’s restaurant ?”The half dying man rasped, I found ‘ Sam’s Shack ‘ ….but they wouldn’t let me in without a tie.

I wrote before about the question “why do I need a 3D Printer?” (here). Today, 3 months later, this old joke came to my mind.

It’s easy to understand why so many people feel the way they do about 3D Printing. And so, ok, I’ll be very blunt: you don’t need a 3D Printer! And, by the way, you also don’t need a TV, an iPad, a hair-dryer, a laundry machine, a car, … !

As some say, life can be good without these evil things, so why go for great?

Without irony, let me give you my two cents about when you’ll need a 3D Printer and why you may consider buying it now.

It may take 5 years before mass market will see 3D Printers as a “must have” and not just a “nice to have” equipment.

If we would be talking about a minor change in our lives, the adoption would be quick and easy. But it’s not the case. This new technology is able to improve our lives in so many different ways that it’s expectable and wise most of us take some time to understand the phenomenon.

All governments, big corporations, international institutions, think tanks, and so forth, are already devoting their time and money to see how we can all take this breakthrough technology to improve the quality and sustainability of our lifestyle.

Don’t expect 3D Printers’ manufacturers to be the ones pushing the big wave of Home Users. It will be all those you already interact with when you do your shopping, go to a restaurant, park your car, go out at night, travel, …, that will provide you 3D solutions to daily problems. The whole economy is working in parallel to let you benefit from 3D Printing.

First introduction of 3D Printing in our daily routine is likely to come from three areas:
– Photography
– Fashion Accessories
– Toys


Because these areas tend to be physical representations of emotions, individuality, fun and learning. In other words, there’s more in the 3D object than just the object. Therefore, any printing service focusing on one of these areas will more easily see his message come across and make a profitable business out of it.

The other question is why you may consider buying a 3D Printer now. Or maybe I shall rephrase it: are you Active or Passive?

In the end of the day, I guess that’s the real question. And you are the one who shall answer it. Just bear in mind that an amazing, wonderful and exciting new paradigm is coming…

So, up to you now!

Are you the type of person who prefers to sit and wait or do you want to join us and be part of the 3D revolution?