Monday, October 7, 2013

3D printing: Supply chain gains but IP, bioprinting risks loom

     I chose this article because of 3D printings ability to revolutionize the supply chain.  The ability of 3D printers seem to be endless in potential. Manufacturers will be able to produce products on the fly, use less materials, perform massive customizations, and shorten product lifecycles.  The global supply chain model will change to a local model that does not need high specificity, due to the capabilities of these printers.  My question is what are the risks associated with 3d printing?
     There are always health risks with new technologies and these printers can drastically change the work force.  However, the most interesting risk is that associated with intellectual property.  3-d printers allows one to make up almost anything.  How is this business going to be regulated?  3d printing has already been used to make things such as human ears.  The government is going to need to step in to determine how to control this industry.  3D printers will allow many people to produce their own copies of many different devices and products.  When the price becomes efficient enough, who is going to stop people from bypassing patent laws and just printing off a copy of whatever they want?  This aspect of 3-D printing is going to create a whole new set of problems for the government.  I believe they will be forced to develop new guidelines concerning the use of 3-d printers, while maintaining our basic freedoms and rights.

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