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THE new, bottom-up industrial revolution.

 

 

The CandyFab granular printing system uses heated air and granulated sugar to produce food-grade art objects - art as ever "showing the way" forward to the ever evolving process of science and technology.

 

As Allister Heath has stated in his recent Telegraph Viewpoint article -

"Manufacturing has come a long way since the days when Henry Ford 

supposedly told his customers that they could have a car in any colour they

wished, as long as it was black, but 3D printing will take customisation to

its logical conclusion. Choices will often be created or supervised by

consumers themselves; in extremis, micro-markets will consist of just one

customer who really, really wants a very large and very bright green kitchen

table.

 

There will also be an explosion in self-production and DIY manufacturing;

making things using one’s own equipment may even become almost as

common as cooking one’s own food or uploading one’s own pictures to

a social network. One can now buy a proper second-hand 3D printer for a

few thousand pounds and the price will keep on falling; eventually, they

could become as ubiquitous as microwave ovens. 

 

The benefits of 3D printing are so massive that it would be economic 

suicide for any nation to ban the technology, or regulate it out of existence. 

It would certainly be equally mad to downplay its risks, and its safe use will 

require a major change in policing techniques, but the benefits from its 

mass adoption will outweigh its costs. 

 

Given that economies of scale will no longer be so essential, 3D printing

will drastically reduce the barriers to entry to start-ups. Anti-trust policy

will become obsolete. The influx of new competitors will shake up many

industries, just as old oligopolies built around intellectual property have

already been smashed. One interesting case study is Makielab, a

Shoreditch-based firm which allows users to design a truly be- spoke doll;

when a child or its parents are satisfied with the design, they can order a

10in model for £69.99. Expect vast numbers of such players to emerge,

providing cus- tomers with apps and websites. Some will succeed, many

will fail, fortunes will be made and lost in a great 3D bubble, but all will

do Schumpeter proud. 

 

Eventually, even governments will be threatened by the 3D printing

revolution. In a world of endless choice, who will put up with one size fits

all public services and flawed, bureaucratic decision making? If they want

to redeem themselves, the politicians will need to find a way of preventing

maniacs from abusing this marvellous technology, while allowing a

generation of visionary entrepreneurs to use it to engineer a new,

bottom-up industrial revolution."

 

 

A British inventor has unveiled the ultimate Star Trek gadget - 

a £650 handheld scanner that could be used to copy almost any item.

 

 

The Fuel3D scanner, originally developed at  Oxford University, can capture

everything from a flower’s petals to the contours of human skin. It is able

to capture images in seconds, and they can then be sent to a computer for

processing.

 

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