Friday, July 11, 2014

3D Printing: Good or Bad?

Technology advances exponentially every day as more and more bright thinkers innovate our tomorrow, but will this hurt our fundamental values in the long run? Will technology eventually go beyond what is human and right? Has it already? At this point, no one really knows, or really, no one can agree. Whether or not we think technology has gone too far, we all know that it definitely has the capability to.
3D printing has been a hot topic in the science field for being extremely cheap to make durable parts. Although it is still quite expensive (decent ones in the low thousands), 3D printers have become more and more accessible to the common household and are expected to be sold in department stores in the near future. There’s even a makeup printer on its way to the shelves:

Now, fuchsia blush isn’t going to take away your human rights, but think of all the possible things that could. Right now people are investing in a 3D printed small and compact drone that can fly to remote areas, deliver packages, or even conduct search rescues all for a relatively inexpensive price.
A 3-D-printed drone created by engineers from the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
Although there are so many possibilities where this drone can excel and help people, if put in the wrong person’s hands, it could lead to dangerous violations of privacy. Giving regular citizens the power to have 3D printers that could make drones (or anything for that matter) can allow people easy access to invade someone’s home or private territory. Imagine how easy it would be to follow people around or even video record them without them knowing. By making 3D printers easily accessible to the public, we make it ten times easier to let people go too far.

The real question is whether or not the pros outweigh the cons. Even though 3D printing could allow people to make weapons or other harmful materials, they could also make life more convenient and cost-efficient and even save lives. I believe that 3D printing is headed in the right direction, but it needs to be monitored for it can definitely get out of hand. The issue is that this is something markets and governments would have a difficult time keeping under control. Only time will tell what will happen.



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