Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

New industrial revolution

It occurs to me that we're on the cusp of a new industrial revolution. Right now, 3D printers are expensive and only print plastics. But medical 3D printers are being developed as well, and the eventual outcome of the regular 3D printers will be something akin to Star Trek's replicators, and the physical object version of what's happening now with music, movies, and e-books. Either the economy will collapse while we all try to figure out how to reorganize things under this new technology, or companies will hoard the 3D printers for themselves and sell the products, or companies will start pushing to copyright their products. Now matter how things go down, this is gonna be HUGE. Like, "whole chapter or more in your history textbooks" huge. There will be tests on it in future history classes.

In fact, I think Cory Doctorow wrote a short story about this subject.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2010 06:41 am (UTC)
There will actually be a combination of two technologies: 3D printer technology and nanotechnology, which will allow for the generation of 3D printers that can "print" almost anything. This will not only create a third Industrial Revolution, but it will change the nature of capitalism, because the means of production will be available to almost everybody. As a result, the designs will be copyrighted, but people will just start designing products of their own. The economy will be entirely re-invented and there is the possibility of a return of the economy to almost a Renaissance economy, one of individual inventors/designers, home industry, and wealth defined by control of raw materials. It will be something of a throwback in terms of the economic organization and a monumental leap forward in the technology. It is even possible that this will result in an entirely new economic system, one that has never been seen before. I also predict another advance in the industrial revolution to come: biotechnology - genetically engineered bacteria creating many of the chemicals currently derived from petroleum. They will take biomass from farmed algae and use the bacteria to convert it to any chemicals needed. This, along with biodeisel, will replace oil before 2050. The materials gained will be used by the nanites and the printers/replicators. I would like to think this would create a Star Trek type social system, but at any rate I do not think the U.S. will be leading this new advance. I think the technology will come from Asia, probably Japan.
Feb. 23rd, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
Yup yup yup. And I have something like that going on in my Mindeodean universe.
Feb. 23rd, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
Long before Doctorow, the Transhumanists were looking forward to this--one good book (there are many) is Broderick's The Spike.

Also, as with so many other things, Phil got there first.
Feb. 23rd, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)

Now, if we can just print petroleum, we'll be all set. Otherwise, it may not mean much.

Feb. 23rd, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
If we're still using petroleum, I think it could be fabbed. But it also would allow for cheap solar power, cheap wind power, etc.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


The Djao'Mor'Terra Collective
Fayanora's Web Site

Latest Month

October 2019


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Taichi Kaminogoya