Research Nugget #6

Scholarly Article

APA Citation: Federico-O’Murchu, L. (2014, May 11). How 3-D printing will radically change the world. . Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://www.cnbc.com/id/101638702#.

Live Link to Article: How 3-D printing will radically change the world

Linda Federico-O’Murchu proclaims the reasons why 3D printing is going make the world we know today unrecognizable in 50 to 75 years. Advances in 3D technology are going to make us live longer, abolish outsourcing, change production and present unimaginable possibles. She also states a lot of 3D printing’s advancements and the potential advances it may carry. Then like many other authors she starts to question 3D printing’s progress over time.

Her biggest question is even if it technically works, should we be doing it? Printed food although looks the same under a microscope could affect us down the road and printing guns could infringe on certain rules or laws. Those could be uprising problems but she assures that 3D printing is still in its “Wild West” phase, meaning, the laws have not yet caught up with technology.

“Even if it technically works, should we be doing it? If we start creating food instead of growing or harvesting it—that gets a little scary. At a molecular level, does your body accept something that’s been artificially and genetically manufactured? Even if it looks the same under a microscope, what will it do to you over 10, 20 years?”

The hype over 3-D printing, say technology experts, ignores the potential problems it will create. One significant problem is the legality and ethical ramifications of widespread public use. Right now, additive manufacturing (the technical term for 3-D printing) is in its “Wild West” phase, meaning, the laws have not yet caught up with the technology.

An example of this is 3-D printed guns. Last year, blueprints for a 3-D-printable gun, The Liberator, were posted online and downloaded some 100,000 times before the State Department ordered them taken down.”

Federico-O’Murchu brings up a great point in her writing when stating 3D printing is still in its “Wild West” phase. It is true that 3D printing is very new and that is why there are so may prolonging questions. One question I derived from this writing was, can we even create these laws in time to stop the potential problems these new areas of 3D printing might create?

Similar to what was stated by Johnston in his writing, if it is digital it is able to be stolen. An example stated in this article about 3D printed guns where after it was downloaded about 100,000 times, was taken down. Was every single blueprint taken down or are they still floating around. Then again if it is digital it can be stolen which means someone still has there hands on it. It makes it that much harder to regulate 3D printing because of its ability to be rapidly shared. Will speed be a factor that positively or negatively effects 3D printings growth? Will we be able to act as quick and efficiently as the State Department?

trinckle-3d-printing-market-place-1“And there are other ethical issues to be considered with 3-D printing. Though Daniel Castro, Senior Policy Analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, DC, believes 3-D printing’s capacity for innovation will ultimately benefit society, he wonders how intellectual property rights will be protected and enforced.

“I don’t think we’re going to be too worried about consumers printing out Mickey Mouse and Disney being mad about that,” says Castro. “We’re more likely to be concerned about India or China or another country stealing digital designs using corporate espionage, and then being able to perfectly replicate what’s been produced in the US or elsewhere. Governments will have to hold companies accountable for what could be massive intellectual corporate property theft.”

Technology gurus like Jack Uldrich, however, say there’s no stopping a speeding a train. The choices are get on board, get passed by or get run over, he says.

“If you can print out food, components of homes, body parts as we age, it points to a really interesting future,” he speculates. “We’ll be treating animals in a humane way, rewriting the rules of society. What if we really don’t need to work? In the hands of 7 billion creative people—we can’t even begin to imagine how people will use this technology.”

Federico-O’Murchu’s writing can also be compared to Hampson’s writing because of the fact that she also takes a stab at the ethical side of 3D printing. However her standpoint on ethics is broader than just viewing it on a medical standpoint. Federico-O’Murchu points out that 3D printing’s capacity for innovation will ultimately benefit society but wonders how intellectual property rights will be protected and enforced. We are not concerned about consumers copying products, which was a concern Johnston also had. We are more concerned for other countries stealing those digital designs, basically stating we want to limit 3D printing to only being shared domestically and want to protect them. In the end, she suggests that the government will have to hold companies accountable for that. Keeping the copying under the domestic roof will not effect this process as much as it would if the copying went international. The government is going to have to do a lot of work to keep 3D printing’s progress to continue smoothly.

Train in motionLastly, Federico-O’Murchu closes with a quote from technology guru Jack Uldrich. This quote makes 3D printing seem like an inevitable advancing piece of technology. From my point of view 3D printing is going to get out of control and like Uldrich said, “The choices are get on board, get passed by or get run over.” We will in the end be rewriting the rules of society soon enough but nobody knows how it will affect us. This quote matches perfectly with my research as to the fact that although 3D printing is able to revolutionize and impact the medical field, it will in the end cause more problems.

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