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The book in front of you is the first international academic volume on the legal, philosophical and economic aspects of the rise of 3D printing.
In recent years 3D printing has become a hot topic. Some claim that it will revolutionize production and mass consumption, enabling consumers to print anything from clothing, automobile parts and guns to various foods, medication and spare parts for their home appliances. This may significantly reduce our environmental footprint, but also offers potential for innovation and creativity.
At the same time 3D printing raises social, ethical, regulatory and legal questions. If individuals can print anything they want, how does this affect existing systems of intellectual property rights? What are the societal consequences of the various types of products one can print with a 3D printer, for example weapons? Should all aspects of 3D printing be regulated, and if so, how and to what ends? How will businesses (have to) change their way of working and their revenue model in light of the shift to printing-on-demand? How will the role of product designers change in a world where everyone has the potential to design their own products? These and other questions are addressed in high quality and in-depth contributions by academics and experts, bringing together a wide variety of academic discussions on 3D printing from different disciplines as well as presenting new views, broadening the discussion beyond the merely technical dimension of 3D printing.