Week 9/10: Studying the 3D Printer

I think an interesting artifact for study would be the new development of the 3D printer. There are actually a large number of studies looking into the possibilities of the item as well as its place in modern society. It most commonly is seen as a magical device which can bring the human imagination to life. My study would prefer to look at the extremes of the good versus bad spectrum for such an open technology. Should everything that a person imagines be made? I would look obviously at many of the great new things that the technology has produced, such as the 3D printer cast. Then, I would compare the negative items which could be produced. Most notably, I would investigate the 3D printer gun that has caused so much attention and has even been linked to the U of T Semaphore Lab.

Ultimately, I think I would like to see if the possible good could outweigh the bad. This central idea would be very difficult to test. I believe that it might end up being a matter of perhaps trying to create some sort of policy of use or ethics concerning the 3D printer. Maybe someone could help me by writing a Crichton-esque novel to make the public embrace the concept of “just because you can does not mean you should,” which is commonly held about invention in general but might need to be applied specifically to the 3D printer.


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