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3D Printing


3D printing is regarded as a new industrial revolution, as it allows de-centralised, bespoke and ad-hoc production of goods. Currently used for rapid prototyping of tools and sample designs, the technology is advancing very fast and has also been applied to medical needs (a replacement jaw for example). The technology also gives rise to a new generation of “makers” as well as facilitating crowd-sourced products, allowing speedy development of design via remote collaboration.

“When we look further, you know, about machines replicating themselves using basic materials, widely available materials, then perhaps the economy would collapse, but there would be no need for an economy. The economies are all about trade, people saying ‘I’ll give you this metal implement if you give me four chickens.’ You don’t need trade when you got your own machine that can not only build the metal implements, but can build six chickens.” 

Martin Watmough
Director of Digital Manufacturing Centre at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Recommended reading: The Econominst, 3D Printing, A Third Industrial Revolution

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