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The FormBox is a new household tech appliance that could be better than a 3D printer (for some). It’s a vacuum former, and here’s a little gif to clue you in on both what it does and how fast it works:

Formbox vacuum mold maker

FormBox is a new kickstarter campaign, so you can’t exactly go out and buy this thing today. However, with over half it’s goal and 22 days left to fund (currently), I’m pretty certain this is a safe bet. The project team has worked on multiple successful kickstarter and invention campaigns before.

I’ve been watching 3D printers for a number of years, and for most people the main barriers have been cost and complexity (to understand and use). At least for the average person. Only in the last year have 3D printers become available in the big box stores – like Lowes and Home Depot, but they are still $1,000 and up. With this Kickstarter the lowest price to obtain a FormBox unit is $349. I’d say this is pretty affordable to start making and manufacturing your own items at home.

Why the FormBox is revolutionary (and you should watch what happens with it)

Pay attention to the part of the Kickstarter where they talk about this project funding the next items they plan to put out as part of what they call they “desktop factory”. Imagine a little legion of affordable machines that will allow crafty and creative people to create their own prototypes and designs from home.

I have long said that everything in life and the world operates in some sort of cycle. Hundreds of years ago every person had some type of singular talent by which they derived their livelihood. Everyone knew the butcher, the baker, the banker, the blacksmith, the typesetter. A hundred years later many of the singular skills from main street USA were eaten up and diluted by the industrial revolution. A hundred years after that (today), those industrial jobs have disappeared by 80% or more and the original skills people had have been mostly lost over multiple generations.

What I’ve been witnessing are lots of displaced workers who are left to obtain new skills in service related fields like medical, sales, retail, and tech. I have also seen lots of people try and augment their income either by some type of freelance work for hire, or by creating something (arts, crafts, woodworking, etc.). What we are missing are people that are interested in, and have skills in science and engineering.

My hope is that people will get devices like this in their hands, and use them to create things for themselves and others, building their creative skills and inspiring the children in the homes in and around them. I hope that they enable people to become “makers”, and inspire the young to create and make their own items (which will hopefully inspire them to creative or engineering backgrounds).