Meh, people will always make swords and ploughshares. But reducing the need for distant resources has to reduce motivation for conflict.The problem is that some guys would be asking for bigger and better weapons rather than items that would improve humanity's lot.
Pete, this is not political, maybe philosophical?
Would be great if we could follow the progress & your comments of this direction in a seperate thread?I just got in the post today my first two prototypes of mouthpieces that I had printed. Nowhere near the resolution needed for production of complex organic shapes like a mouthpiece (at least not cheap enough), but the level of the technology at the moment is perfect for prototyping.
It can. Google DMLS, direct metal laser sintering. They lay down a layer of powdered metal, weld it together in that cross section of the part with a laser, lay down another layer of powder, weld that together with the 1st one with the laser, repeat. It works but it's not economical compared to conventional manufacturing for most things right now, the machines still cost like a half million Euro and take a long time to mke anything. That said, it will certainly get faster and cheaper.Up to now I have only read of articles being made by this process in some form of plastic material. I think it will really take off when a metallic medium can be printed -