Game over Gamesworkshop: Rise of the MakerBots

Last week I was watching tv and saw something that made me think about the end of GW. Then yesterday I read an article by Dave from N++ and since then it kept me thinking of where we are heading. The article is called: Living in the future, get used to it. It basically shows us all to look at our lives and the products we use these days to make out lives easier. Things that we could only dream of say 15 years back. We are spoiled with new gadgets and nothing they seem to invent seems to impress us that much anymore.

But then last week I saw something that amazed me and truly had me thinking of the possibilities. Ladies and mostly gentlemen, I present to you the "MakerBot". If you haven't seen it yet I have included a little video at the bottom of this article for you.

The makerBot is nothing less then an actual printer for objects. In short, you can download a blueprint of any object and the Makerbot will make a 3D plastic object of that blueprint. The idea about it is that if you bought something and a part breaks you can contact the store and they will sent you the blueprint of that specific part and you can "print" it at home. Or you can go to the webshop of a company and buy the blueprint online which should be cheaper and a lot quicker.
So let say GamesWorkshop would adopt this technology in a couple of years. Then I would go to the webshop and download a box of Space Marines and I would be printing them only 5 minutes later at my home after paying for them with my PayPal. It will take about 10 minutes to create a whole squad of space marines.

But WAIT! It wouldn't be like that now would it. How many of us have gone online and downloaded some song illegally? How long would it take hackers to crack the blueprints and you could download those blueprints for free? Or how long would it take before they would invent an object scanner with which you could easily copy any objects and creating blueprints a thousands of times. And why would I stop "printing" my freshly bought Space Marines when I have a squad of 10? I could easily create 10 squads of 10 marines.

Technology like this will again change our future and how we consume products dramatically and I wonder if companies are already protecting themselves against this. Surely this would be the end for Gamesworkshop and any other miniature making company out there. We would spoil it all by illegally downloading the blueprints so we could put a 10.000 point army on the table for just a few bucks.

This machine is currently still an open source projects but already available for just under a thousand dollars. Quite an investment right now but if you would want to buy a plasma tv, mobile phone or high spec pc about 15 years ago you would have to take a second mortgage as well.

So how will this effect us, the mianature gamers? Game Over Gamesworkshop? Plz leave your comment below.



Colonel Shofer said...

I concur.


Bix said...

The birth of the STC...it's all coming to pass ;)

Anonymous said...

Check out thingiverse.com

Anonymous said...

I hope GW are smart enough to take advantage of it. Not everyone can afford warhammer models let alone 3d printers. Imagine buying the parts over the internet from GW as 3d objects and putting them together on whatever software, maybe GW could develop one, and go to the Workshop to produce your unique, affordable armies.

Oliver Werth said...

I was talking with some GW officials in england and they choose to ignore this development. Their stance was that for the next 20 years they assume that the target audience of their product (children they say) will not be aware of this development and/or not able to afford a 3D printer.