The 3-D printing revolution has arrived to the delight of consumers everywhere, and at the same time it’s freaking out governments around the world. Simply put, distributed, non-centralized fabrication technology threatens their legal control over physical objects.
For a few thousand dollars, anyone can purchase a 3-D printer (called an “additive” desktop fabrication device) and print out physical objects using a variety of moldable materials, such as ABS plastic, metals, and polymers. 3-D plans are freely available to download online, and the printers are on the verge of flooding the marketplace with a wide range of affordable models from a large number of manufacturers (see accompanying article on printers and manufacturers).
Article by: Jim McFadzean, Director – San Francisco