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3D printing is already shaking our age-old notions of what can and can't be made.
If you gave kids peas that didn't look like peas and said they were a space shuttle, they're much more apt to eat them because it's now playtime.
Restrictions are difficult to enforce in a world where anybody can make anything.
We've seen computers play chess and beat grand masters. We've seen computers drive a car across a desert. But interestingly, playing chess is easy, but having a conversation about nothing is really difficult for a computer.
Similar to computer technology in the '60s, 3-D printing is a universal technology that has the potential to revolutionize our life by enabling individuals to design and manufacture things.
The next episode of 3D printing will involve printing entirely new kinds of materials. Eventually we will print complete products - circuits, motors, and batteries already included. At that point, all bets are off.
Basically, any material you can squeeze, melt or generate into a powder, you can print.
I think, once recipes become digital, pirating a digital recipe and all the questions that you have with music and so forth will become pertinent to food as well.
So, where are the robots? We've been told for 40 years already that they're coming soon. Very soon they'll be doing everything for us. They'll be cooking, cleaning, buying things, shopping, building. But they aren't here. Meanwhile, we have illegal immigrants doing all the work, but we don't have any robots.
We tend to think of science as finding equations, like E=MC2, that are simple and elegant. But maybe some theories are complicated, and we can only find the simple ones.
When it costs you the same amount of manufacturing effort to make advanced robotic parts as it does to manufacture a paperweight, that really changes things in a profound way.
A hexagonal piece of cheese is a lot better than a square piece of cheese.
The moment somebody is making money off the recipes, that's when you'll see digital rights management around it.
Worrying about how you're going to make something is a huge constraint - most people can't make anything at home because it's too expensive.
The only way to make something cheaply today is to have it mass-produced. For example, you wear the same shoes as everyone else. If you had a fabber, you could custom-make shoes that perfectly fit your feet. Three-dimensional printing will help us move away from the mass consumption that is so deeply ingrained in our culture.
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George Washington Carver
E. O. Wilson
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