Crowded malls. The eternal search for a halfway decent parking spot. Waiting for hours—only to see the gift your son or daughter desperately wants sell out right before you get to the front of the line. Who needs this version of the holiday spirit?
Imagine if you could buy yourself a gift that makes whatever you want for others—it’s not the ingredients for a home-baked fruitcake to send to friends and relatives, either. 3-D printing companies like MakerBot are making a bet that you won’t need Amazon.com, a bricks-and-mortar retail giant or a bunch of Santa’s elves in the North Pole workshop to cover everyone naughty and nice. A holiday trend of the future will be stockings stuffed and trees underlined with your own 3-D printed designs.