Originally published in Battle of Ideas.
Over the past two or three years, the idea of 3D printing has gripped the imagination of everyone from creatives in design and IT through to wider industry and governments up to and including President Obama. At a time when many business innovations are based around how the product is packaged and sold to the customer, it is indeed refreshing to see a technology-led boost to how material things are made in the first place, potentially transforming the production of everything from children’s toys to cars and even guns. Some go so far as to proclaim that with ‘additive manufacturing’, we are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, one that will restructure society, make the means of production more democratic and give the economy a much needed boost.
Others are more sceptical – seeing additive manufacturing as just another (albeit still exciting) technique that adds to the multitude of existing manufacturing processes. So where we are with this technology, and does 3D printing really amount to an industrial revolution or is it just overblown hype?
prototype technology specialist, Jaguar Land Rover
entrepreneur; founder, Audiocafe.com; author, Digital Vertigo: how today’s online social revolution is dividing, diminishing, and disorienting us
Dr Paul Reeves
engineering software designer, SolidWorks R&D (part of Dassault Systèmes); convener, manufacturing work group for Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation
Ann Marie Shillito
founder and CEO, Anarkik3D; designer maker/contemporary jeweller; author, Digital Crafts: Industrial Technologies for Applied Artists and Designer Makers
Dr Paul Reeves engineering software designer, SolidWorks R&D (part of Dassault Systèmes); convener, manufacturing work group for Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation