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Will 3D eliminate need for semi trucks?
As an avid Star Trek fan and Ray Bradbury, E.E. "Doc" Smith and Anne McCaffery reader, I am amazed and delighted with how insightful these imaginative writers were. We are living their dreams.
As to 3D printing. As a 20 year veteran of long haul truck driving, we are seeing a revolution in the transportation industry, that goes beyond the cell phone and laptop. Logistics providers are dreaming of driverless trucks, dispatched from a central location and controlled by satellites. That is a huge leap of faith, when you consider the "driverless cars" we deal with every day out here. The texters, the talkers, the eaters, the readers that occupy the drivers seats of the countless cars that careen past us every day, on every road in every state.
In this day and age of wonderment, does any 3Der imagine that this technology will replace the transportation network in the USA and even in the world? Will there be no UPS, FedEx, knights of the road or good buddies left on our nations highways?
What do you think?
Wonder Woman
... the transportation of customer goods (or 'virtual storaging' of goods on the roads) could reduce drastically then ... but every 3D-printer needs raw materials like filament spools, granules, powders or fluids -- and this has to be delivered in an even finer grid than now (with prefabbed goods in shops/markets as centralized sources).

But this can change too, when the printers/fabbers start to work with 'localized' raw materials like sand/soil (=>glass/ceramics), plants (=>'green' plastic) or more complex tweaks like reducing CO2 for carbon ... or chemically separate/purify droppings for all sorts of raw materials ;-P


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