3D printing is not that of a new subject anymore. Just like smartphones, there was a huge buzz/hysteria that everyone wanted a 3d printer at the beginning but everything slowly came back to normal to make room for a healthy and normal evolution of the market.
However, there are some risks associated with this new technology that people and the state start to put into question. I think the technology still has to improve radically so that 3D printers really start to become a serious threat, but this could be very well in a couple of years from now, considering how fast these things develop. 10 years ago the industry of 3D printers didn’t even exist, now it is a multi-billion dollar market that slowly impacts everyone’s life.
To date, 3D printers didn’t revolutionize much
I am a little sour by stating this, but to this day when I am writing this article, 3D printers revolutionized very few things. Sure, the concept is great and is one of the biggest topics in the new technology of the 21st century, but for strictly practical applications, 3D printers only empowered their users to make basic stuff and objects. As you can see in this selection of 3D printers, most of the brands that currently manufacture 3D printers do not offer fantastic features besides inoffensive plastic molding and small objects fabrication. For instance, none of the printers in that article can print out food, or more importantly organs which get me to the next point.
3D printers still cannot print out food or vital organs.
None of the promises of the enthusiasts saying that you will be able to print out your own food or organs came to reality yet. But is the world prepared for a printer that could do both? In my opinion yes, because at least when it comes to organs, there is such a high demand for them in today’s world that cannot be covered by the supply, so a printer that could fabricate organs would be a godsend for a lot of people in need that do not have the resources to pay exorbitant amounts of money.
Is the increased capability of 3D printers to fabricate guns a danger?
I don’t consider this to be a problem. You see, people who want to make bad things will do them with or without the help of 3D printers. In the past when this wasn’t a topic, bad people managed to get their hands on guns using different methods like buying off the black market. And if we were to go even further in the past, when there were no guns, these kinds of people would use rocks and sticks to hurt other people. So I wouldn’t say that 3D printers bring any new danger on this matter although it is definitely an easier way to get your hands on a gun by fabricating one, that’s for sure. So is the 3d printing of guns an issue? Not really.
What is the conclusion? Is the world prepared for fully capable 3D printers that can fabricate anything?
I will say this again, it is not the case yet that 3D printers fabricate literally everything but this might be the case in the future. As to if the world is prepared for this, I would say that it is for the most part. I was always very vigilant to the evolution of technology and how it had an impact on our society, and I found out that people assimilate new technologies way faster than you would expect. So the building of ethics and rules in the 3D printer market can gradually develop as the time and technologies advance. I am not a pessimistic at heart and I am open to any new ideas and technologies so that makes me actually a little bit enthusiastic to see what the future holds for us.