3d Printing And The 3d Printer's New Found Popularity Comes With A Price

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In 1986 Charles Hull invented the 3D printer (Lewis). Hull’s 3D printer has come a long way since then, and in all those years 3D printing has finally shifted its way into the public eye. This bout of fame and recognition for printers though is both a blessing as well as a curse. 3D printers are finally being given the attention and appreciation they deserve; even President Obama saw their potential when he gave a $30 million dollar grant to the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Ohio (Lewis). Unfortunately, the 3D printer’s new found popularity comes with a price. Like any budding young star the 3D printer is under constant scrutiny and has lost some of the freedom it once had, freedoms like exemption from…show more content…
Once one creative medium is given free reign from intellectual property laws, what excuse is there not to make exceptions for all other creative mediums as well? Why should books, photographs, sculptures, digital artwork, etc. all not be liberated from intellectual property laws as well? Another fear, held by both companies and consumers alike, is the possibility of counterfeit products. Individuals would have the power and opportunity to print and sell different products to buyers who believe they are purchasing and paying for the original and genuine product. Those who oppose leaving 3D printers unrestricted also anticipate that it could lead to intellectual property laws being eradicated completely, as the government loses complete control over 3D printing all together. The current difference between all other creative mediums and 3D printers at this time is that all the others are well established and known by the public throughout the world. 3D printing is still so young, it was only in the 1980’s that engineers began to use 3D printers in their work (Barnett). Most of the general public have only now begun to learn about the existence and understand what a 3D printer is. Due to the fact that 3D printing is such a new and up and coming technology, it still has a very long way to go development wise. 3D printers are far from being perfect. In order for 3D printing to continue to expand though it needs to be nourished by both creativity and freedom.
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