Mac|Life magazine recently approached me and several other people (Brian Lam, Veronica Belmont, Michael Brook, Mark McClusky) to envision a future product from Apple. Mac|Life rendered them beautifully, and the products the other people came up with are really cool.
My product was a rapid-prototyping system called the iMake (above).
iMake is a desktop manufacturing system based on the RepRap (reprap.org), an open-source 3D rapid prototyping technology. Apple led the way in the desktop publishing revolution, and now it's leading the way in the desktop manufacturing revolution. With iMake, you can make your own small products at home, such as Bluetooth headsets, iPods with unique form factors, wristwatches, eyeglasses, door knobs, and more.New Apple Products--as Imagined by the Elite Gadget Press
To create a product, you visit the iTunes Store to choose from among tens of thousands of product designs--prices range from free to $9.99--purchasing one just as you would a song, video, or app. The 3D data is sent to the iMake, which builds the parts, layer by layer, out of high-quality plastic. The iMake will also make the circuit boards. Then, all you do is snap the pieces together! After purchasing a 3D model from the iTunes Store, it takes about 15 minutes to print a 3D part.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.