...an inspiring piece on NPR I hear a while back, about a little boy or girl who'd lost his or her hand or finger or some other limb, and instead of being forced to spend $20,000 on some traditional prosthesis, was able to 3D-print the prosthesis for something like $20. Even better was that since the kid was growing, the required parts could be reprinted with ease to match his/her development. It was really inspiring and there are probably hundreds of millions of people around the world who could benefit from such tech -- I mean, *actually* benefit, because they can actually *afford* it.
Now, when I read articles like this and statements about "100 billion dollar IP losses" all I can think of is, fuck, are we really going to let intellectual property law squash the awesome potential for advances 3D printing gives us across a wide range of applications? I can only hope that there will be a significant movement of "open-source' designers who allow their product templates to be downloaded and printer for free, but the pessimist in me sees this as another opportunity for patent trolls and megacorporations to fuck everyone over and profit in the process.
Sorry for the slightly "jaded teenager" esque post, but anyway.