- Hatch’s Hit List #2 – 3D Printers
- Hatch’s Hit List #3 – AM/FM Transmitters
- Hatch’s Hit List #4 – Arcade Emulators
It is important to demonstrate that this law will affect a wide range of items that we use now, and that we may well come to depend on in the future. While most of the public may not care about AM/FM Transmitters or Arcade Emulators (let’s face it, they appeal to those of us with a dominant geek side), people may not even have the chance to use a 3D printer. It may be hard to imagine what one will do with a 3D printer at first, but that very fact is one of the important reasons why we need to ensure that we, the public have access to it. Yes, there is a very real likelihood that there will be copyright infringement due to the printer. Just as there is for photocopiers, fax machines and our regular printers. But, there is a much higher likelihood that people will take the new technology and use it to transform life, improve day to day tasks and perhaps have a larger impact on the world around them.
Just as standards printers have become ubiquitous for school assignments -many of us were a part of the the transition from hand written reports to printed essays – new technology could well expand the possibilities for a student to demonstrate their point, illustrate an example or stand out in a field of normal papers.
Wouldn’t it be great to have your own scale model of the house your building to go along with the blueprints? I think so. If 3D printing is introduced to the market, and follows the normal technology and price curve, it would not be long before architectural firms could easily provide miniature models to better show what the home buyer is purchasing. I bet there would be much less confusion, and ultimately a more efficient, and more pleasant experience for both the purchaser and the builder. And hey, I think it would be pretty damn cool to have a small version of my house (or house-to-be) sitting on my desk.
Let’s extend this idea further. I have been using the Web to find plans that will show me how to add a small set of stairs to the side door of the house. While there are some great examples, providing a lot of detail, and several angles, I know it would be much easier if I just had an example to look at – even better if I can spin it in my hands to see what the bottom looks like.
The same concept could easily be extended to trade schools and universities:
- Tests requiring that students demonstrate optimal ways to route pipes or wiring in a complex environment
- An assignment to show an architectural design students can balance form with function
- Physical assembly of proposed traffic flow patterns for an engineering class.
All of these possibilities, plus countless more that we have yet to imagine may well be cut off with the passage of Senator Hatch’s INDUCE Act. We will lose an improved future because a “representative of the people” is obeying the wishes of one of his largest contributors.