Previously, explaining the concept of 3D printing to those at dinner parties who are perhaps two steps behind with technology may have involved awkwardly moving your hands around the air to mimic a print head squirting out fresh ABS juice. Perhaps you can save those skillz for another time and just pass along this perfect video released yesterday from PBS on the current state of 3D printing that covers everything from how it works, how it can disrupt business as we know it, and what it means for you the consumer.

PBS Off Book: 3D Printing

While 3D printing may have already wowed the tech and design communities, it’s important to consider that there is still a huge population out there that struggle to comprehend material science in context to 3D printing, what 3D printing can actually be used for, and heck…how it even works. With cheaper and more efficient consumer models flying off the shelves of the MakerBot warehouse and print service sites like Shapeways finding themselves more in demand, it’s only a matter of time before we’re left with a generation of consumers that understand the technology, or a generation that doesn’t know where to begin. If the majority of consumers can at least understand the basics of the benefits of at-home repairs, bio-printing developments, and innovation in general, it will benefit us all through creating more resources for better products, faster technological developments, and stronger communities.

For more info on PBS’ exceptional miniseries head to their Off Book site.

Filed under: CULTURE FAB

  • Adam

    Very cool video. Great overview!

  • http://www.genomicon.com Nick Taylor

    We really need to get away from the idea of “unauthorised copy”.

    “copyright” is a state-inflicted monopoly, creating an artificial scarcity (a type of enclosure) for middle-men who buy them up, for the purpose of charging rent – ie: un-earned income. Something for nothing.

    Artists on the whole do not benefit from copy-monopoly (and never have). Only corporations that aggregate these monopolies do. That’s why it’s always corporations with long histories of exploiting artists that are obsessed with copy-monopolies, rather than the artists themselves.

    The hell with them. Copy-Monopolies are a legal fiction, with zero moral legitimacy. Do not acknowledge or respect them.

    … and in the case of 3D printing… if it ever gets to be that good… we simply do not care. We’re going to do what we’re going to do, and corporations and govts (who increasingly fail to look after OUR interests) cannot stop us.

  • Adam

    Some of what you say is certainly true, but as a self-publishing content creator I beg to differ with parts of it. Those who steal the content I work hard to create make it harder for me to create it.

  • http://www.genomicon.com Nick Taylor

    People who care enough to share your files are not “stealing”

    At most they are infringing on a monopoly that you have been granted… but for all you know, this sharing might well be acting as the best marketing you have. Word of mouth etc. Study after study after study has shown that it’s people who share files that spend the most. Sorry… but the likelihood is, that the people who you are pleased to call “thieves” are actually your customers.

    As to “content”. That word assumes “container”. There is no container. Once something is on the web, it is as free as air… and so it should be. Attempts to impose artificial scarcity functionally break the internet… and this is why (as the internet is now a basic human right), that copy-monopoly lobbyists now find themselves, quite literally, to be the enemies of humanity. That’s what breaking human rights is.

    And for what? Infringing the monopolies of entertainment? For a set of figures made up by lawyers that have no basis in reality?

    But I digress – the fact is, you are assuming that file-sharing is hurting a rental income that you feel entitled to… but you do not have (I’m guessing, because nobody else has it either) a shred of evidence to support this notion.

    You’re not at risk of someone “stealing your content” (both fallacious ideas in any case), you’re at risk of accidentally infringing an information-monopoly “owned” by an “IP” aggregator (aka troll) and getting sued.

    And beyond that, you’re at risk of no one ever having heard of you. The day people stop sharing your files, is the day people stop caring what you have to say. Be careful what you wish for.

  • Adam

    My time is scarce, and there’s nothing artificial about that.

  • http://www.genomicon.com Nick Taylor

    We’re not talking about “your time”, we’re talking about you charging a rent on replication… which is (technically) someone else’s time.

    Completely different things.

    You’ve been conditioned into thinking that you’re entitled to a “work once, get paid forever” model… and legally you are. But not morally – and now you’re coming head to head with the greatest invention in the whole of human history… and you’re finding yourself on the wrong side of it. History I mean. If this was the reformation, you’d be on the side of the (sclerotic ally corrupt) papacy.

    “IP” is to art, what rent is to architecture – a monopoly rent based on value already created (usually) by someone else.

    None of which detracts from the fact that you do not have a shred of evidence that file sharing hurts sales.

  • Adam

    Chill pill, mon. SolidSmack is a happy place :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=822755054 Mark Young

    Group hug! :)

    “that copy-monopoly lobbyists now find themselves, quite literally, to be the enemies of humanity”

    Wow, that’s quite harsh on someone who just wants to get paid for what they’ve done.