3D Printing never took off as predicted: 3D printers in everybody's home quickly turned from a vision into a trend that is losing its steam.
One of the reasons is that the process of designing, setting up, maintaining and post-processing are just too cumbersome for the majority of the adopters.
The last component to make the whole equation works - the AR mixed reality aspects to design 3D objects in 3D environment - never took off in time to fuel to the hype. Hopefully in the future when Augmented Mixed Reality has become more mainsteam and more accessible to the majority users, 3D printers in every homes might become a thing again. However probably it will take another 5-10 years for the tech to go its full cycle and arrive at everybody's homes.
It's a different story for the early adopters and the 3D printer enthusiasts, however. I for one happened to jump right in front of the early adopters of these 3D printers, to the point of becoming an enthusiastic hacker when the 3D printing became available to the pro-consumers. This Replicator Original, one of the first 3D printer kit made by MakerBot, is one of my trophies. Thanks Dave for donating this beautiful machine to me! The wooden body quickly gives it an antique even if it is just about 5 years old.
Given my background in 3D CAD design, knacks for tweaking gadgets and tons of curiosity, I quickly got over the complexity barrier and got comfortable with adopting 3D printing as one of my tools in the shed.
Long story short, it finally come to the tipping point where I found 3D printing a bunch of pulleys are more convenient, cheaper, and faster than purchasing it either from the local hardware store or online!
The pulley were in the end installed on a weighted boxes and secured 5-meters-long tensioned nylon rope for an art exhibition.