I’m keeping an eye out for articles on 3D printing – here’s a good one at The Economist.
3D printing looks like it’s going to be a really important and disruptive technology: I mean let’s be clear, we’re talking about replicators. Download a template, tweak it, make your own and sell them; the rest is a matter of feedstocks. They say they’re expensive, but they’re in the range of early inkjet printers. The path is unmistakeable: 3D printers will be cheap, ubiquitous; if you can’t afford one, chances are your village can; and that will be a stupendous political and economic transformation.
As the Internet is to creating and sharing information, 3D printing is to creating objects, and sharing design templates for printing objects. For example: it appears likely that it will become possible to manufacture untraceable and undocumented weapons. I got that story from Rachel Maddow, who wisely offers light commentary, she’s just letting you know about this new thing in the world.