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This article was written on 24 Feb 2011, and is filled under News.

Thoughts on the Materialization of Digital Information and the Digital Economy

Perfect timing! As I was taking a break from documenting the build of our MakerBot, I noticed Spark CBC was asking a very interesting and important question about the future of 3D Printing.

The question is, if we have 3D printers at the corner store, or even in our homes, and those printers can extrude customized shoes, clothes, toys, or food, what does that mean for the future of manufacturing? What would a future of 3D printers look like?

This is exactly the type of question that consortium members are trying to resolve. I’d like to point out a fabulous resource, and an important first step towards an inclusive answer to such question: Matt Ratto and Robert Ree’s report to Knowledge Synthesis Report to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Matt and Bob (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto) have dedicated quite some time to this research, putting together a thorough environmental scan, interviewing key players of the industry and finally building, making and *printing* with designers and other individuals directly affected by such rapidly evolving technologies.

You can download their report here (PDF, 5Mo). As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and on the report!

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