3-D printing might revolutionize how we travel.
There's no doubt that one of the most frustrating aspects of travel circles around luggage. Packing is always a nuisance, your bags come in overweight at airport check-in, and then there are the times when luggage gets lost. But there may be an unexpected solution lingering on the not-too-distant horizon: 3-D printing.
Finnish designer Janne Kyttanen, who specializes in 3-D printing, has developed a line of clothes that can be printed when you arrive at the destination. Dresses, shoes, sunglasses and even purses are all included in Kyttanen's project called "Lost Luggage." While it sounds like something from the year 3000, modern day travelers could forget about their suitcase entirely and print out everything they need.
Kyttanen said he found inspiration for the project from his family's experience during World War II.
"Without warning soldiers from the Soviet army forced my grandparents from their home by gunpoint," Kyttanen told DailyMail. "For years my mind has raced with the fear and bewilderment they must have felt abandoning their home and possessions. I've always thought, if you had to decide on an impulse what to take with you then what would your luggage look like in order to accommodate what you couldn't leave behind?"
Although 3-D printing has been around since the 1980s, it was not until 2010 that the printers became commercially available. The idea involves making a solid, three-dimensional object from a digital file. It can use materials ranging from paper to plastic to metal to rubber. The state-of-the-art technology allows shapes and designs to be transmitted over the Internet, then physically reproduced in another location.
Companies such as Nike have experimented with the printing technology, which could cut manufacturing costs by allowing precise deigns to be produced on a wide scale. Designers are working on 3-D printed cars, and in China and Holland, 3-D printers are building entire houses.
"It's opening up a whole new world," agreed Sarah Boisvert, chief 3-D printing officer at Potomac Photonics and a technology consultant at MIT, according to CNBC.
You could not only print your boarding passes but your suitcase too. Say goodbye to luggage fees – this very well might be the hottest thing in travel industry news. 3-D could revolutionize travel once and for all.
The only issue that still persists is what you would do on the way home. The future still holds some mysteries.