THREE-D PRINTING: THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND SOME SPECULATIONSOctober 3, 2012
There's a manufacturing revolution just around the corner that may make all the current debate about NAFTA, GATT, free trade, China, and even central banking as obsolete as the dodo bird, and in case you haven't heard of it, it's called "three-d" or "three dimensional printing":
Here's the meat of that article:
"3D printers — machines that can assemble molecules into larger pre-designed objects are pioneering a whole new way of making things. This could well rewrite the rules of manufacturing in much the same way as the rise of personal computing discombobulated the traditional world of computing.
"3D printers have existed in large-scale industry for years. But at a cost of $100,000 to $1m, few individuals could ever afford one. Fortunately, improved technology and lowered costs are making such machines more viable for home use. Industrial 3D printers now cost from just $15,000, and home versions for little more than $1,000. Obviously, there are still significant hurdles. 3D printing is still a relatively crude technology, so far incapable of producing complex finished goods. And molecular assembly still requires resources to run on — at least until the technology of molecular disassembly becomes viable, allowing for 3D printers to run on, for example, waste. But the potential for more and more individuals to gain the capacity to manufacture at home — thereby reducing dependency on oil and the global trade grid — is a huge incentive to further development. The next Apple or Microsoft could well be the company that develops and brings home-based 3D printing to the wider marketplace by making it simple and accessible and cheap.
"Decentralised manufacturing goes hand-in-hand with decentralised energy generation, because manufacturing requires energy input. Microgrids are localised groupings of energy generation that can vary from city-size to individual-size. The latter is gradually becoming more and more economically viable as the costs of solar panels, wind turbines (etc) for energy generation, and lithium and graphene batteries (etc) for home energy storage fall, and efficiencies rise. Although generally connected to a larger national electricity grid, the connection can be disconnected, and a microgrid can function autonomously if the national grid were to fail (for example) as a result of natural disaster or war."
True enough, 3D printers already exist, and 3D printers are, as the article notes above, very expensive. But at one time, so were computers. I remember as a boy a large local bank in Sioux Falls was one of the few corporations in that part of the country that even had a computer. It made the local and regional news. And it was expensive too: several millions of dollars, and it filled a floor of the bank building. Now I am typing this blog on a computer magnitudes of order smaller, magnitudes of order cheaper, and magnitudes of order more powerful, than the clunky Sperry computer (I think it was Sperry) at the local bank.
Eventually, in other words, 3D printers will become smaller, cheaper, and in the process, manufacturing will be greatly localized and personalized. The transformation, I submit, will be much more than the general decentralization of energy that it will promote, it will also promote a return to a system of finance that is productivity-and-equity based and not the centralized debt-driven speculative monster we see now, and with that decentralization will come another: the potential rise of competing currencies, and an end to the central bank money monopoly.
They will, of course, try to determine this development by their usual mercantilist policies and outdated playbook, but the sheer numbers of manufacturing "centers" that such a technology will make possible will, in my opinion, spell an end to the centralized mercantilism we see now. If they attempt to pass laws forbidding the emergence of competition to their money and force monopoly, that too will fail, for it will simply drive such activity underground.Localities and regions will be able to issue currency based on local arrangements and productivity.
And of course, all the while, they will attempt to buy up as many of the corporations involved with such technology for themselves, the old adage "ownership is less important that controlling interest" being the oldest part of the playbook. But "controlling interest" is now being challenged from a completely different sector: technological development and decentralization. So...watch for it: the usual central bankster nonsense will start soon: they will begin to put out their "position papers" from their think tanks and foundations and study groups, and these will call for "regulation" of the emerging technology and potential markets, they will have their compliant media running "warm up" and "get ready for" articles. For it is surely coming, and they know what the implications - a potential loss of their money monopoly - are.
See you on the flip side.