compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
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.
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
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