Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

3D Printing and Actor-Network Theory

3D Printing and Actor-Network Theory
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Author(s): Graham Harman (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 9
Source title: 3D Printing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1677-4.ch003


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Some futuristic technologies belong to a distant time that is hard for most to imagine in palpable terms. In the case of 3D printing, however, any citizen can easily grasp the stakes by simply watching a brief video (). The 3D printer, whose ancestry can be traced to factory innovations of the 1980s, provides a method of assembling objects piece by piece: a kind of less precise nanotechnology for the macro-level. Within a decade humans might be able to print functional body parts, bringing an end to the grisly waits for donated organs and the even more grisly international organ trafficking rings. Some believe that the “killer app” for 3D printing will be found in the printing of food, perhaps replacing single-site restaurants with a home library of Platonic forms of gourmet cuisine. Still others celebrate or fear the printing of assault rifles on a desktop, whether by right-wing citizens, convicted felons, or the mentally ill. One can expect the easy availability, in residential privacy, of all manner of benign and malignant objects, transforming economic structures, social life, and domestic security in roughly fifteen to twenty years.

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