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More Than Books March 6, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in e-books, ideas, inventions, science, sense of wonder, VIPub, web & computers, Wild West, writing.
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3D printing captured my imagination a long time back. I recounted my trip to the Albq Fab Lab a year or so back and was unimpressed, but what I read continues to amaze and intrigue me. Writers are now able to be their own publishing company from start to finish–VIPub. With the potential in 3D printers, we can be our own manufacturers, too.

A cottage industry? You can fabricate a cottage to hold the industry in. Back in the Wild West farmers and ranchers had to be pretty self-sufficient since it was a lot of wide open empty between them and a store. You either made things or went without. (And the travelling snake oil salesman not only sold acceptable tonic laced with a lot of alcohol, he provided entertainment, too)

With a 3D printer, such as mentioned in the above article, you can make your own shoes. Or about anything else. Go online, get the “pattern” and you’re good to go. Or design your own. Expensive right now, yes, but with the cost of transportation going through the roof, maybe not so much in a few years. And postage/shipping? That is tied in with not only labor cost but also oil/gasoline. Crude oil might better be used for feed stock than gasoline.

We might be coming full circle, going from an isolated handmade goods society to an isolated 3D printed one.

And how’s that gun control going to work if you can fabricate your own weapon? Making Sten guns, because of their simplicity, used to be a cottage industry during WWII. With advanced plastics and ceramics, you don’t really need metal for a rudimentary weapon. Think of the impact this might have on revolutions in out-of-the-way places where dictators control the means of (other) production and transportation.

The genie is almost out of the bottle.

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