Buy it in a store, laser-scan it at home, upload it to the web, print it anywhere. 3D printing is poised for the mainstream, but what happens when one person’s finely hand-crafted designs can be pirated and reproduced by anyone? Will 3D-printing-piracy social networks arise? And how will manufacturers lobby to stop them?
The ideas came out of my conversation at TechCrunch Disrupt NY with Alex Winter, director of the new documentary about Napster called “Downloaded”. While The Economist pondered these questions last year, and The Pirate Bay has coined the term “physibles” for 3D-printed objects, Winter takes the next step. He suggests a Napster for 3D printing models is inevitable.
I believe it. The way the music industry was unprepared for the mp3 revolution, the manufacturing industry seems similarly behind the curve. It might even be worse off. At least the record companies had the…
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