If you aren't familiar with 3D-printing then don't feel bad about yourself because you are apart of the majority of consumers, but the time has finally come for you to wise up--and fast. 3D printing promises to set a new standard for the production of consumer goods, and it will decentralize an industry that has long been predicated on logistics and transportation from production sites to consumer sites. Like others interested in modeling the future, I believe that 3D printing will shift the way in which we have goods made, and interestingly enough the future that I envision moves things back to local commerce--not unlike the artisan era of production that was seen in pre-industrial times. Instead of your plastic thing-a-ma-jigs and doo-dads being made in Asia and then shipped throughout the world, these items will be printed at your local print shop and in some cases your own homes.
If you are not convinced by the potentials for 3D printing, then this article that was just tweeted by B3dge that reports on China's investment of $80M in 3D printing technology and exploration might help convert you. The investment maybe a drop in the bucket as far as the industrial revenue for China is concerned, but give it a few years and major shifts in manufacturing are expected to happen.
You will definitely hear more about 3D printing on this blog in the future.
Link to China 3D Printing Investment Article: