So now you can “print” your own kids’ toys. Or a guitar. And guns, of course.

But 3D printing isn’t just a domestic oddity (or a new crime wave). As Guy Rundle explains — chasing the new industrial revolution around the United States for Crikey this month — it’s much bigger than that:

“It’s a story of a revolution that is happening, whether people particularly want it to or not, not merely in 3D printing and base manufacturing processes, but in robotics, new materials, energy sources, production localisation and much more. It is a revolution that will transform the landscape of our lives slower than its champions would hope for – but faster than anyone else would imagine.

“Though it is part and parcel of the online revolution, it is also separate from it, and over the years and decades to come it will transform our daily life and the structures through which we live – to the degree that powerful forces allow it to. It presents the possibility of a genuine liberation – and also of a dystopian future of total control.”

The revolution will be televised … and 3D-printed. Stay tuned.

Peter Fray

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