My 3D Printed Junk Drawer

I had a discussion yesterday with Audrey Wattersabout the infamous junk drawer(s) that exists in every house. That end of the counter drawer that seems to accumulate everything from around our house that we think we may some day use.

Junk drawers possess those small items that hold our lives together. Nuts, bolts, fasteners, knobs, hinges and handles as well as the tools we use to assemble the futon, bikes, shelves and other household appliances. We keep all these items because we don't want to throw them away. We will use them some day right?

We all live with this delusion. I have no hard data on what we actually use from the junk drawer, but we all have them, and I'm sure many of us have just taken that entire drawer to the Goodwill, sold at a yard sale, or worse.....thrown away.

Instead of having a junk drawer, what if we could take a picture of each object with our mobile devices. The mobile app would use image recognition or some sort of image scanning to identify the object. The mobile application would scan potentially millions of parts and pieces to identify this little piece of treasure in our lives. Once identified it would pull all meta data related to it, identifying it as a screw, faster for a futon or drawer handle from IKEA.

We could create a virtual junk drawer of all these items. Once cataloged in our virtual junk drawer, we could properly dispose of in a recycling bin, Goodwill donation bag, or items in garage for the big yard sale that will make us rich. No more physical junk drawer. We could access our virtual junk drawer at any time, in an online environment.

When that magical time comes, and we actually need the exact same screw, knob, fastener or obscure alan wrench we could search in our virtual junk drawer and pull up the item. Then we could either find out a local place to purchase, or even better the virtual junk drawer would pull the 3D drawing for the part and have it printed for us at the nearest 3D printer.

Instead of clinging to the vision that some day we will need this part or piece, we could keep track of the parts and pieces that make up our lives, and when this day comes we could actually have recreated, and magically it appears in our lives.

This would make way more sense then having a junk drawer with thousands of un-identifiable parts and pieces, and think of the valuable data you could extract from such an application.

Anyways...just a thought.