Man-Made or Machine-Made : A Touch of Imperfection Goes a Long Way
If rapid prototyping using 3D printers take over physical human labor, factories can then be mechanized to produce perfect quality designs like never before. They can eliminate the "human error" that sometimes occurs when creating tangible creative output.
If art was that simple, then it wouldn't even exist. There is a reason that people are drawn to the world of art, sculpture and painting. When someone has a story, it is first told by word, then told by writing, and sometimes (but rarely) told through other forms. Art is a narrative of someone's life. You see, no matter how much we want to be perfect at everything, we still cling to this randomness inside of us. Art is a language for what we are and who we are. The state of an artistic work allows us to revel in the implications of imperfection. We find ourselves astounded at the delight that there is something that we cannot explain. For all our logic, secretly we want to transcend it.
So why is an original man-made artwork more valuable than a perfected piece of machined decor? Because it relates more to you and me than its competition. Because you can imagine doing it by hand, sweating, toiling and finally.. succeeding in creating something beautiful out of your own imperfect experience. Art is to human, as product is to robot. We are what we do, and we do according to who we are.