The Turbo Entabulator - a 3D-printable, fully mechanical computer whose CAD file is available for download on Thingiverse (Photo: Thingiverse).
Lawton pointed to video cameras, computers and 2D printers, which once were only found in business settings.
Academic settings, in particular, are also having a profound affect on 3D printer adoption rates as the machines are becoming ubiquitous tools in secondary schools and universities.
"It's a part of what [kids in college do]. Now, it's no longer alright to just become a mechanical engineering; you need to have skills in making 3D modeling and printing. That's a change," Lawton said. "The person who's leaving college now and going into the workplace is expecting to have access to that technology."
Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.