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Author Topic: Ramifications of 3-D Printers for Customer Service  (Read 1224 times)

wraith808

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Ramifications of 3-D Printers for Customer Service
« on: December 21, 2012, 10:19:53 AM »
Will customer service phone lines be replaced with at home 3-D printers that can print replacement parts and upgrades?

That's the question asked at the end of an article on how a 3D-printed adapter rescued a threatened iPhone dock. (via Wired).

Quote
The Elevation Dock for the iPhone is a classic Kickstarter story. An indie designer develops a better mouse trap, raises $1.4 million, and of course, delivers the product to backers, very, very late. These delays created a serious problem when they overlapped with Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 5 and its new Lightning connector.

<snip />

Unlike most backers, Hellers saw the incompatibility between his gadgets as a challenge instead of an inconvenience. He opened up Tinkercad, a web-based 3D-modeling program, fired up his MakerBot, and got busy designing an adapter. He says, “Designing the adapter was fairly straightforward and quick. I printed four or five iterations … since it is such a small piece. The printing of those revisions was very quick, only a couple of minutes each time.” He posted his design to Thingiverse, set up a Shapeways shop for those without access to a 3D printer, and helped 12,521 downloaders bring their products back to life.

More at the link, but the more interesting one is the one posed at the end of the article.  I find the article interesting not so much for this case as for the use case.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Ramifications of 3-D Printers for Customer Service
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 10:52:33 AM »
I'll suggest customer service lines won't be *replaced*, only that the "scripts" will change. Instead of return/replace/refund type stuff, some of them might shift to assisted re-printing with all the usual tech troubleshooting that involves.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Ramifications of 3-D Printers for Customer Service
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 01:51:43 PM »
Eliminate the shipping costs by (instantly-ish) remotely "printing" replacement parts at the customer's location. Holy shit man ... That's got potential!

SeraphimLabs

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Re: Ramifications of 3-D Printers for Customer Service
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 03:44:58 PM »
Eliminate the shipping costs by (instantly-ish) remotely "printing" replacement parts at the customer's location. Holy shit man ... That's got potential!

Not if the customer can't legally print a spare part because the 3D printer could conceivably be used to make contraband such as pirated cars and guns.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Ramifications of 3-D Printers for Customer Service
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 05:28:27 PM »
Eliminate the shipping costs by (instantly-ish) remotely "printing" replacement parts at the customer's location. Holy shit man ... That's got potential!

Not if the customer can't legally print a spare part because the 3D printer could conceivably be used to make contraband such as pirated cars and guns.

The customer wouldn't. They would just 'expose' their printer/access to it publically, in an HP ePrint fashion. Leaving Tech Support a point of access to "send" the new part (printing instructions) after the 'appropriate charges' had been made.


Now as far as he big brother movement that wishes to cripple the device...well that's just stupid. and impossible. The technology is what the technology is, and any control circuitry can be circumvented. If they (yes the infamous classic SiFi them) wish to piss ther fortunes down the drain trying to prevent gasoline from being flamable ... Then I say let them squander their wealth all the way down into the Darwinian gutter.

My father once said that locks only keep honest people out. And that quite simply is the only real truth to any of this sillyness. If I have a skill, and a need ... Then I will damn well combine them into whatever manner of have I can muster. because the is the predatory nature of our species. Anyone that can't grasp that is a food animal.