I experience childlike glee whenever someone mentions 3D printing and copying. This is entirely fueled by the desire to fabricate at will and the very optimistic hope that it is the precusor to the words “beam me up”. So you can imagine my excitement when there are several foo sessions on the subject. Tim Anderson started this morning talking about his company Z Corp that builds 3D printers. Very cool.
However, arguably the most interesting idea was planted by Tim O’Reilly when he asked whether there was an open source community around the digital fabrication. I immediately imagined a world where the ability to fabricate a cup was dependent on your purchase of the fabrication template. In other words, things we take for granted as being in the public domain – ie. the basic notion of a cup becomes something that is licenced because the design is captured in a template.