Manufacturing

3D printing: a new industrial revolution?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Barbican, London

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?

Making it in the 21st Century

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Barbican Centre, London. For tickets, book from the Barbican website. For the full festival programme, visit the Battle of Ideas website

Conveyning and introducing the strand of five debates.  Is it game over for manufacturing in the developed economies or might America stage a comeback? Can there be a rebalancing of production to the west and consumption to the east? Will gas galore provide the cheap energy to fuel that possibility? Does design drive engineering or the other way round? Why do we suffer droughts in wet old Britain? And is file sharing just stealing?

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