How the Internet and Finance Have Collided Over the Past Year

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The internet has proven to be a powerful force and it has taken the power into the world of finance. Internet culture has begun to influence the stock market, e-commerce, and more. It has generated a lot of attention and it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here.

Meme Stocks

The phenomenon of meme stocks developed due to social media sites engaging in certain stocks. The most notable example of this is GameStop. This video game retailer was declining, and many hedge funds were betting on this stock to continue dropping. On the site Reddit, many people were outraged by this and they banded together and ended up raising the GameStop stock price from $19 per share to $483 per share. Many other stocks have received similar treatment since this incident. While this is a very interesting trend, it is important to note that if you are a first-time investor, it might not be the best decision to bet on these meme stocks as it can be a bit of a gamble.

NFTs

NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are digital items that are unique and cannot be traded for a similar item. To understand this concept, it’s best to compare it to the art world. An NFT would be like an original piece of art. There is nothing out there of equal value. However, it is possible to sell prints of an original art piece or to make recreations, but only one person will have the original. Online, NFTs have become widely popular, and people will bet on these NFTs for the sake of having the original. Essentially, they are purchasing the unique code for the image even though the image can still be copied and used elsewhere. Some have sold for millions of dollars, like an NFT photo collage. The trend of the NFT market is unclear, but for now, it is generating a great deal of money.

Dogecoin

Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that started as a joke based on a meme featuring the Japanese breed of dog the Shibu Inu. Dogecoin started back in 2013, but it has become widely popular due to tweets from Elon Musk. It has also gained popularity on the site Reddit and has followed the footsteps of the Wall Street Bets Reddit page. Users have made efforts to increase the value of Dogecoin mostly for fun and so far it’s working.

The financial world is often more serious and respectable. However, the internet is doing its best to change that. Whether it’s good-natured or to seek justice, the internet and finance have certainly collided in the last year.

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How to Start Designing Your Indie Game

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Creating your own game might sound intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from trying. One of the best parts about creating your own indie game is that there are lots of programs and tools available for you. Knowing about these tools can help you be successful in creating your game.

Pick Good Software Tools

The first place to start is in selecting your software. The type of software you use is highly dependent on the type of game you want to create. If you are looking to create a text-based game, you might want to look into software programs like Quest or Twine. Stencyl on the other hand is great for non-text-based games. There are even programs that are specific to creating RPG games. In addition to the type of game you are making, you also need to be mindful of budget. Fortunately, some programs are free.

Use Free Assets

One of the benefits of making your own game is you have total creative control. You can create anything you want. However, that doesn’t mean you need to create everything from scratch. Using 3D assets is a great way to create the world of your game without having to make everything yourself. Under certain circumstances, you can access 3D assets on Unity or Unreal Engine. Some platforms offer free access to assets. Do some research to find platforms that work for you.

Learn the Language

When creating your own game, you will likely need to learn some sort of coding language. Many of these languages are already associated with the software you will be using. Understanding the coding language can help you create the game without much outside help and you can understand the inner workings of the game. This will also come in handy when you need to make any fixes after the game has been launched. There are a variety of coding languages ranging from the basic HTML5 to the more complex C#. Make sure you are aware of what language your program is using and do your best to learn it enough to efficiently design your game.

Creating your own indie game is an exciting endeavor, but it does come along with its own challenges. If you make yourself aware of the proper tools though, you can easily overcome these challenges. Do some research about the best programs and tools available to you as you design your game.

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Business Technology That Is Surging

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The coronavirus pandemic has impacted most industries in one way or another. It’s been devastating for businesses in the entertainment, food, and hospitality industries. Others, such as healthcare and technology have enjoyed unprecedented surges. In terms of technology, with many making a huge transition to working from home, there have been some business technologies in particular that are surging.

Security and Privacy

Security and privacy technology will always be relevant, especially in business. Given the recent push to develop the capacity to work from home, businesses have become more reliant on technology. With that comes an increased degree of risk from hackers, viruses, and malware. By necessity, security and privacy software has had to be developed and improved upon to provide the requisite protection for businesses. By way of example, last year Zoom faced some real privacy challenges that threatened its success. Throughout a 90 day period, they committed to improving their security and have done so well enough that it continues to be an immensely popular way to hold virtual meetings.

Teleconferencing

With people stuck at home but still needing a way to hold meetings and appointments, teleconferencing is another area of technology benefiting from an increase in popularity. It has been used to hold virtual meetings in tons of industries, from marketing to medicine. For doctors, telemedicine visits have expanded their reach and allowed them to serve their patients in new ways. This has benefited patients in rural areas in particular. While there is still plenty of work to be done to improve their access to healthcare, the surge in teleconferencing has been a step in the right direction.

Remote Management Tools

Working from home has been a huge adjustment for businesses and employees alike. One of the big concerns for businesses whose employees are now working remotely is how to keep their employees on task and engaged when they aren’t physically present in the workplace. Like security and teleconferencing technology, remote management tools have become a mainstay for many organizations. These tools can be used for project management, productivity and timekeeping, and so much more. You can expect them to continue to be used at least to some extent even after things return more or less to normal.

It’s not a bad time to be involved in business technology. Security and privacy, teleconferencing, and remote management tools are just a few examples of business tech that has enjoyed an increase in popularity and demand. What is especially nice for consumers is that things were already headed in that direction. Spurred on by the pandemic, we can now enjoy the benefits of progress that much sooner.

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What Parents Should Know About Children Using the Internet

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The internet brings a lot of opportunities for fun and learning, so of course, parents should be excited to utilize all it has to offer. It’s common to have a little bit of anxiety about the less savory side of the internet, but being prepared can help you to navigate the situation appropriately. The more you know, the better you will be able to help your children use the internet in a positive way.

How Internet Use Can Help Kids Learn

One of the biggest benefits of the internet is how much it has to offer in the way of learning and exploring the world from your own home. From teaching aids to informative videos and science projects, according to HughesNet, the internet is full of learning opportunities. Helping your children get excited about learning is an important part of their childhood and the internet can help them do that. Try to find things that your child is naturally curious about and help them to regularly learn new things.

How to Protect Them from Harmful Content

One of the downfalls to having so much information available online is that some of it is dangerous or harmful. Helping your kids to avoid harmful content and talking to them about it when they stumble upon it can be incredibly helpful. According to Fight the New Drug, scientific research shows how pornography can be harmful to anyone, especially children. Violent content can also be harmful to children and their development. Using filters on your computers and supervising your children while they are on the internet can help them to avoid harmful content, so they get the most out of their time spent online.

How the Internet Can Help Them Build Connections

The internet can be a great place for your children to connect with other children from around the world. It is, of course, important to monitor their interactions online and make sure that they are appropriate but building positive connections online can help your children to get to know other kids from various cultures and backgrounds. According to Edutopia, you should make sure to talk to your kids regularly about their internet use so you can keep the conversation going.

The internet is one of the most amazing things in our time and helping your children to use it appropriately is an important part of modern parenthood. Using the internet to open the doors to curiosity and learning is an exciting part of watching your kids grow up. Take the time to teach them about internet safety so they can have an exciting and safe time online.

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How 3D Printing Can Benefit Manufacturers

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Manufacturing is a constantly shifting field that is always benefiting from new technology. The latest venture is the use of 3D printing to manufacture new products. Some businesses are starting to see the value in incorporating 3D printing, which they feel will save them money in the long run. The most common uses are still being found, but the innovation is incredibly exciting.

More Customization

Using 3D printing enables businesses to customize their products more effectively. Unlike traditional machinery, 3D printing creates items according to a specific design. If something needs to be changed, it’s incredibly easy to make this change in the machine. This means that more experimentation and accessibility can be implemented into products.

Business owners see how a customizable machine could open their clientele up dramatically. If your product can reach even more people, the growth potential is enormous. You will likely see more 3D printers pop up in factories for customizable designing.

Less Waste

One huge benefit of implementing 3D printing is the exceptional reduction in waste. Manufacturing companies often get attacked for having a lot of wasteful output but using this technology could mitigate that. Mass production can help eliminate waste, and 3D printing takes this to the next level.

Factories could implement these machines to conserve the environment and reduce the amount of product they need to buy. A 3D printer can use all its plastic to form your product without leaving residue. It will help the business owner’s wallet and give workers a higher-level job than they previously had.

Easier to Prototype

When pitching an idea to potential buyers, you must develop some sort of physical prototype. This is true when you are putting it through development trials. 3D printing can help manufacturers communicate more clearly with their investors and allow them to try their ideas out more quickly.

This makes the jobs of everyone involved easier and more straightforward. Instead of wasting time developing a prototype that might not express precisely what you want, everything is possible. Beyond this, you have a better way to develop new products that are safe and effective.

All in all, 3D printing is an increasingly popular technology that will likely be integrated into factories as known today. They can help you better customize your products to the needs of your customers. They are more environmentally friendly. They are also easier to prepare for investors and consumers when brainstorming new product ideas.

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Areas of Your Business That Can Seriously Benefit From Automation

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When running a business, your time is precious. You have a lot to manage and so you need to prioritize your tasks and time. One way to do this is to use automation in numerous areas of your business to complete important tasks without using too much of your time. With the help of automation, you can allow yourself to prioritize other projects and allow technology to take care of everything else.

Social Media Marketing

In recent years, using social media as a marketing tool has become widely successful. However, if you want solid results, it requires quite a bit of dedication and attention. It can be very helpful to manage your social media marketing through automation. One way it helps is by doing research for you. An automation tool can search what people are saying about your brand online, what current trends are, and even the patterns of your consumers. For example, it can determine the optimal time for posts based on what your consumers are most active. Another way to use automation is to schedule your posts. This way you can write them all at once and then space them out at your convenience. Just make sure you monitor these posts and keep them on your radar so you can make sure they are always sensitive to current events. Additionally, you shouldn’t automate everything. You should take time to reach out to customers via social media to maintain a more personal connection.

Accounting

Automating your accounting can be a helpful time-saver but it also has many other benefits. For example, you can eliminate human error from your data. It will be more reliable and processed much faster. You can also rely on more security through automation since everything is processed digitally and can be protected and stored in the cloud. Since everything is digitally stored, you can quickly and easily access the information for your benefit and the benefit of your clients. Accounting automation can create ledgers, track data, and perform computations instantly. Fewer than 25% of accounts payable departments have highly automated invoice approval processes. If this number were increased, there could be far more efficiency seen in the accounting world.

Customer Service

As one of the essential elements of your business, you want to make sure you have quality customer service. Automating your customer service can help you do this. The primary automation option for customer service is implementing chatbots on your website or social media. These bots can respond to people even outside your business hours which improves customers’ experience. Similarly, they can respond to questions quickly. Bots are also helpful with filtering questions. If all your customer service agents are busy, a bot can answer simple questions and defer more complex questions to your service agents.

Automation is a very helpful process. You can take tasks that would normally be involved and time-consuming and rely on technology to complete them for you. Through automation, you can save time in your business and dedicate yourself to more high-priority projects.

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How Mobile Apps Have Transformed Personal Finance

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mobile banking network. business people using mobile phone with icon application online payment.

It is no secret that technology is becoming a major selling point in most industries. The convenience of a device that can do everything you could ever want is much more desirable to people. For instance, personal finance has changed dramatically in the last decade, making everything more convenient and accessible to more people.

Democratized Stock Trading

Stock trading is a great example of this change. Instead of the wealthy elites primarily having access to the stock market, the Internet and mobile apps have opened the stock market to anyone. The markets are shifting, and more working-class and middle-class families are investing in the stock of companies they enjoy.

Apps that have given this “power to the people” have many different names. One is aptly named Robinhood. While this provides the market with extra money, it also opens people up to scams if they are not careful. Some apps will have small classes people can pay for to better understand how the stock market operates, bringing more wealth to more people.

Mobile Banking

Mobile banking has also shifted the financial dynamics. Millennials number 73 million in the United States, and they favor mobile banking options. This push isn’t unique to the younger generations, however. People of all ages want access to their accounts and financial resources no matter where they are.

This expectation of digital banking has brought with it more pressure for traditional banks to adapt or fall. While you may need to visit your local bank for specific needs, people just don’t need to visit them to do basic transactions like they used to. Mobile banking is just more convenient and useful in the moment.

Cryptocurrency’s Rise

There is no doubt that the rise of mobile apps has also fueled the idea of cryptocurrency. People have been talking about “digital money” over the last decade, but it has now become a reality. Bitcoin has surged in popularity and is easy to access for more people. It is basically a kind of stock that a lot of people are buying into because of its digital appeal.

But Bitcoin isn’t alone. There is a growing number of cryptocurrencies hitting the digital market. This trend will likely become more popular with time, but it is hard to say what the ramifications of its development will have on the world.

Mobile apps are shaping finance as we know it. They will likely continue in their aim to make the individual’s life easier. It is a great thing for everyone.

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Software Tools That Every Charity Organization Needs

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As wonderful as people are their ability to organize, produce and publish data or material is limited without the use of technology. Utilizing software programs for advertisements, promotion, management, and communication will help your charity run smoothly and efficiently, for your benefit and the benefit of everyone tied to your efforts.

Social Media Management

Social media platforms can broadcast information faster and more effectively than any other tool. So much of today’s worldwide population use social media that it has become an incredible means of reaching a wide audience, or even aiming for specific sub-audiences—because different platforms tend to pull in different demographics, it is easy for companies to focus messages on a particular group by spending more resources on their platform of popularity. Let people know who you are, what you do, and why. Provide a place for them to get to know your organization through quality content, and encourage interaction with your charity through likes, shares, and saves.

POS Software

Organization and management of data—whether it be financial, goal-oriented, statistical, or media related—is extremely difficult using purely hard copies and the human mind to keep track of it all. Point of Sale (POS) systems can do these things for you, and pull them all into one place for your convenience. A comprehensive POS system can help you manage donations, or track the development of your organization’s goals. Many POS systems exist with varying specializations or capabilities; look for a program that is most useful to you and your needs.

Provide Effective Communication

Any company requires several departments to handle different aspects of business management; for a charity that may include marketing, finance, production, or liaison work. Communication between those departments is essential for any business to run smoothly. Thankfully, there are online programs that make that communication easy while keeping the hassle of personal phone numbers and emails out of the equation. Messaging platforms often exist within email sites but are also available in different formats that allow for group and individual messaging, video chats, and collaborative documents.

For your organization to reach its vision through achieving its goals, it will certainly need the help that technology has to offer. Reach a wide audience with your well-developed content, organize your data with a minimal margin of error, and assure that your whole company is on the same page using the software programs available to you!

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Technologies That Are Transforming the Home

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The technological revolution of the 21st century has produced many marvels and infected nearly every aspect of our lives. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the home. There is a stark difference between the homes built in the last two decades and those built before that. If you have a newer home, you may have some of these amazing technological advancements. If you have an older home, you may want to consider upgrading your home by installing a few of these.

Smart Tech

With the advent of Wi-Fi and the smartphone has come the amazing innovation of smart technology. Smart tech allows users to easily program different devices around their home to do more than they normally would be able to. One example is with lights. Using a smartphone, you can check if you left your smart lights on or off from anywhere that you have an internet connection. With the tap of a finger, you can turn them on or off. This is incredibly convenient if you are looking to save power or you want to make it seem like someone is home while you are away.

Porch Cameras

While porch cameras and security cameras have been around for a while, there have been several notable improvements. One is that due to a reduction in camera sizes, cameras can now fit into your doorbell. Another is that these cameras can be connected to your smartphone. If someone comes up to your door, you can receive an alert about it. If you choose to, you can even talk to the person through your porch camera even if you are away. One of the best innovations is motion-detected camera activation. This innovation turns on your camera only when it detects motion in the area. That way you only receive alerts when something interesting is happening on the camera.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

One of the negative aspects of the industrial and technological revolutions has been the increase in pollution. One solution to that would be to give up on technology. Unfortunately, that comes with its own set of issues. A better solution is to create technologies that are more energy efficient. These days, you can buy energy-efficient appliances for your home. Not only do these appliances help save the environment, but they also help save your bank account. By using less energy, you don’t have to pay as much on your electricity bill. So, if you have old appliances, it may be worth the cost to just get new ones. The savings will pay for the appliance in a few years.

HVAC Innovations

There have been many innovations in HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning) over the past couple of years. Not only are there more energy efficient compressors, pumps, and heaters, but HVAC has also started to incorporate smart technology. This allows you to adjust the temperature of your home with your smartphone. Some systems allow for multi-zone temperature settings. This allows individuals to set a room’s temperature to their individual preference without affecting the rest of the house. Smart tech also allows you to set automated programs to cool or heat your home depending on the time of day. That way if everyone is going to be gone in the middle of the day, you don’t have to be wasting electricity. If you’re looking for more ways to save, you can further increase your energy savings by keeping your HVAC system maintained.

Solar Optics

Solar optics is a relatively new innovation and one that is slowly gaining more attention. One of the drawbacks to this innovation is the upfront costs involved. Natural light is much better for you than LED lights and other forms of electrical light. However, skylights can’t illuminate your whole home. Solar optics use solar collectors to channel light through fiber optic cables. At the end of the cable, the light can be released into any room in your home. This allows you to have your entire home lit by the natural light of the sun. Many of these systems can even filter out any harmful UV rays. Besides the benefit of the natural lighting is that, although they can be pricey to install, you aren’t paying an electric bill to light your home. After all, sunlight is free!

Solar Panels

To continue with the theme of sunlight being free, another great innovation for homes is the development of solar panels. Solar panels can be installed anywhere on the exterior of your home, but they do best if they are used on the roof since that is where they will receive the most sunlight. Solar panels can harvest the energy of the sun to produce electricity. Since you still need electricity at night, you can’t completely go off the grid with solar energy, but you can use them to significantly reduce your energy bill. In the long run, these solar panels pay for themselves and help save the environment by producing green energy.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are a huge improvement over regular water heaters. Regular water heaters store gallons of water in large tanks kept at a specified temperature. This generally wastes a lot of energy and takes up a lot of space. They also involve a relatively large amount of maintenance, and if one fails, things can get wet. On the other hand, a tankless water heater heats the water in your pipes. Not only do they save on energy costs, but they also save water. We generally waste a lot of water waiting for hot water to arrive at our sinks or showers. With a tankless water heater, there is no need to wait. The water comes out hot immediately.

Eco-Friendly Materials

When thinking about technology, most people don’t consider that material developments are an important part of technological advancements. You can’t build high-tech gadgets without specifically engineered materials to build them with. In the home, there have been many advancements that allow for building with more Eco-friendly materials. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they don’t come from a sustainable resource. On the other hand, corkwood floors and bamboo floors are much more environmentally friendly. In many cases, these materials can even outperform their conventional counterparts.

Technology is changing so fast that it may be hard to keep up. Don’t worry, you don’t have to implement all these things in your life. However, if you do like the sound of some of these technologies, you could save yourself both time and money by implementing them. This will help make your home life much more comfortable.

Read this next: Why You Should Embrace Smart Home Technology

How 3D Printing Will Revolutionize Home Building

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3d printing process close up. Automatic three dimensional 3d printer mechanism prints polymer blue part, component. Three dimensional printing machine creates an object

What once was considered to be fantasy is now very real. 3D printing technology has improved in leaps and bounds over the last several years. Each year, discoveries are made that enable us to 3D print even more things. One exciting area of development has been in the realm of 3D printing houses. This new technology can provide so many benefits to mankind.

Lower Costs

The cost of a home has been growing rapidly for decades. This makes it more and more difficult for people to be able to afford a home that meets their wants and needs. However, with 3D printed homes, much of the manual labor is removed from the cost of building a home. This will lower the cost of housing. With lower housing costs, the poorest parts of society will be able to save more of their money to spend on other important items. Overall, this can bring about a massive positive change for our country’s economy.

More Customization

Previously, the idea was that you could make houses faster and cheaper if you just made them all the same, or at least, mostly the same. This allowed construction companies to train workers on just a few different setups and then send them to work doing the same tasks repeatedly on each house in a new development. However, with 3D printed technology, that will no longer be necessary. You don’t have to spend hours training a 3D printer on each new job. You just need to upload a new design. This only takes a few milliseconds. This can allow homebuyers to custom design their homes to their own desires.

Cut Construction Times

One of the worst parts about building your own home is the time that it takes to complete it. Many people avoid building their own home for this very reason. They can’t afford to build a home without selling their current home, and they can’t afford to live in a rental or hotel until their new home is finished. With 3D printing, the construction time for homes can be significantly reduced. 3D printers do not need to go to the bathroom, take breaks, eat food, or sleep. They don’t even get tired! As long as an operator is around to observe the operation of the 3D printer, the printer can work around the clock 24/7.

Add to Existing Homes

Building additions to current homes can be a bit of a pain. However, with 3D printers, this could become a relatively easy process. There are many things that you could do. You could build a guest house. You could build a garden fence. You might be able to print to order a deck for your home with your ideal features. There truly are so many possibilities for home additions when you use 3D printing. The best part about it would be the speed and low manpower at which it would be done. While we are grateful for the work that builders perform, no one likes having builders traipsing through their house while trying to complete a project.

Stronger Designs

An interesting aspect of 3D printers is that they allow us to manufacture certain designs that would otherwise be impossible. It also allows some current designs to be constructed as one whole rather than a bunch of different pieces attached by bolts, nails, and screws. This has revolutionized the way that some things are built. These design changes have led to building components that are both stronger and lighter. In fact, not only are some 3D printed concrete walls lighter and stronger, but many are also better at providing thermal insulation than conventional concrete walls. This all goes a long way to making your home safer and more efficient.

Lower Carbon Footprint

Because of the previously mentioned improvements in construction design. 3D printed homes use less concrete than an identical home built from conventional methods. Concrete production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. By using 3D printing to construct homes, you can reduce the amount of concrete that you use. This will in turn reduce the carbon footprint of your home. This technology is one of the great innovations that not only makes our lives more convenient, but it does so while benefiting the environment instead of hurting it.

Less Waste

When you see a home being built by conventional methods, you’ll notice that there are usually several large dumpsters nearby. That is because building a home generally involves a lot of waste. There is excess concrete, excess wood, excess fastenings, and so much more. With 3D printing, there isn’t the same problem. The 3D printer doesn’t need to throw away scraps because it doesn’t cut things to fit. It simply makes things that fit perfectly. 3D printer technology can also accurately measure how much material is needed for a job. This will allow the machine operators to prepare only the material that is necessary to get the job done.

Job Changes

One of the great concerns about automated technology is that it will harm the blue collar workers. However, this isn’t necessarily true. 3D printing homes is not going to eliminate the need for workers, it is simply going to change the tasks that they perform. It is going to take a lot of work to set up and take down the printers. There needs to be operators for the machinery. There also needs to be people that work on the designs of the homes and so many other things. Furthermore, 3D printers can’t do everything. They can’t lay wires or install plumbing. They also can’t do the finishing touches like painting, tiling, carpeting, and drywall. There will still be a lot of work for others to perform.

So, if you get the chance to have your home built by a 3D printer, don’t shy away from this futuristic technology. Choosing to use the 3D printer technology could result in your home being built faster, better, cheaper, and more customizable than other alternative options. That is a big win-win for everyone.

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