Coming Soon: Industrial Revolution 2.0 or Manufacturing’s Big Bang

The “Dispruptions” blog in the New York Times reports on the eminent arrival of 3-D printing and how it will change the world:

It won’t be long before people have a 3-D printer sitting at home alongside its old inkjet counterpart. These 3-D printers, some already costing less than a computer did in 1999, can print objects by spraying layers of plastic, metal or ceramics into shapes. People can download plans for an object, hit print, and a few minutes later have it in their hands.

Call it the Industrial Revolution 2.0. Not only will it change the nature of manufacturing, but it will further challenge our concept of ownership and copyright. Suppose you covet a lovely new mug at a friend’s house. So you snap a few pictures of it. Software renders those photos into designs that you use to print copies of the mug on your home 3-D printer.

Did you break the law by doing this? You might think so, but surprisingly, you didn’t. . . .

A recent research paper published by the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, Calif., titled “The Future of Open Fabrication,” says 3-D printing will be “manufacturing’s Big Bang.” as jobs in manufacturing, many overseas, and jobs shipping products around the globe are replaced by companies setting up 3-D fabrication labs in stores to print objects rather than ship them.

You can read the full article here.  We’ve been following this trend for the past year.  You can read previous posts about 3-D printing here, here and here.

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