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Monday, 24th October 2011

Could 3D Printing Change the World? Technologies, Potential, and Implications of Additive Manufacturing

Source: Atlantic Council

From the website:

A new technology is emerging that could change the world. 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a revolutionary technology that could profoundly alter the geopolitical, economic, social, demographic, environmental, and security landscape of the international system. AM builds products layer-by-layer—additively—rather than subtracting material from a larger piece of material—that is, “subtractive” manufacturing. This seemingly small distinction—adding rather than subtracting—means everything. ...

The military already views AM as a potential technology for specific tasks which could have huge efficiency and cost-saving benefits, such as the production of spare parts to reduce inventories carried by ships. But the foreign policy and defense and intelligence communities must look more systematically at how new technologies such as AM could transform the world in fundamental ways that affect the global economy, societies, and the overall strategic and security environment. The authors of this Strategic Foresight Report hope to advance the dialogue and understanding between the science and technology communities and the foreign policy, intelligence and defense communities and provide foresight into the policy implications of the accelerating rate with which new technologies are changing our world.

+ Link to full report (PDF; 2.08 MB)


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Peggy Garvin, of Garvin Information Consulting, is the author of United States Government Internet Directory (Bernan Press) and Real World Research Skills, 2009 (TheCapitol.Net). In her 20 years in the information business, Peggy has managed electronic information products and services in a variety of environments, including commercial publishing, e-commerce, law firms, and the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. Peggy's work has been recognized with the 2011 SLA Dow Jones Leadership Award. She has a Masters of Library Science degree from Syracuse University School of Information Studies.

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