3D Metal Printing

3D printing is advancing at the same rapid pace as the Internet did twenty years ago. As with the Internet, the ramifications are difficult to predict. It’s now possible to print key components of an automatic rifle in your own home. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to print an entire rifle (or any mid-size complex metal or plastic object, even clothes made with sintered artificial fibres). No more factories, no more import-export of finished goods, economics textbooks will have to be re-written. There are only two ways this can go: towards greater personal freedom and creativity, or greater centralised surveillance, regulation and control. Place your bets now.

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