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October 2013

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Advertising in the Third Dimension

How to Print Economic Security

by Glen Emerson Morris
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Over the next few years home and SMB 3D printing will come under increasing attack from the government on national security grounds. The rationale will go something like this: since 3D printers can be made to print guns and other weapons, the only way to protect the public will be to limit who can own 3D printers. The argument is fundamentally flawed. The average high school shop is quite capable of making a working AK-47 submachine gun. Kalashnikov, designer of the AK-47, deliberately made it simple enough to make that any small metal shop could do the job.

In reality, 3D printing is the only technology that can provide security for people in an era of climate instability and a job market with an ever-decreasing number of jobs available. Large-scale use of computer and robotics turned the market into a game of musical chairs. It's not the first time this has happened.

Before the Industrial Revolution, it took about 96% of a country's population to grow enough food for 100% of the population. These days it takes less than 4% of the population to feed 100%. We're headed for a point where it will take less than 4% of the population to provide 100% of the manufactured goods needed. Advances in computer technology will eventually allow 96% of all service jobs to be automated.

Within a couple of decades, 3D printing will allow local production of at least 80% of all manufactured goods, including cars, electronics and large appliances. Current economic theories have yet to address the issue of what people will do for a living then. Self-sufficiency may be their only hope.

You begin to get some idea of just how self-sufficient we used to be reading Eric Sloane's America. This three-volume set is loaded with illustrations of all of the implements, devices and structures that used to be made on farms by farmers. The book even explains how dyes can be made for clothing out of different types of trees.

It took less than a century to go from a time where farmers made most of what they needed to a time when farmers had to buy most of what they needed. Sure, we've raised the standard of living in the process, but we've become a lot less secure in the process.

A highly centralized manufacturing system is highly vulnerable to disruption from war, weather, geologic and political events. The recent flooding in Colorado is a good example. One county alone suffered in the neighborhood of $150 million in damages to its highways. Towns were completely cut off from the nation's manufacturing pipeline, and had to wait until the roads and bridges were repaired before they could begin bringing the material & manufactured goods needed to begin rebuilding local homes and stores.

In the future most homes will be made from 3D printed components using materials that can be recycled. If your home is destroyed, you recycle the pieces and print a replacement home. In the case of Katrina, two of the biggest problems were what to do with all of the left over debris and where to get the material to build replacement homes and businesses. 3D printed buildings would solve both problems. Debris from a home made from plastic components could be ground up and re-melted to make the raw material for a new home.

3D printed architecture has another advantage; all homes can be made to be portable - a nice quality to have in an era of rising seas and rising temperatures. There's no getting around the evidence, a lot of coastal property is going to be underwater in a few decades. Anything close to the ocean and not portable has a very limited future.

Billions of dollars are being spent building skyscraper condos in Miami whose ground floors are only a couple of feet above high tide. Some parts of South Beach are already flooding in storm surges, something that never happened before the last few years.

As a nation, we can't afford to write of the $400 billion in property and infrastructure in Miami flooding will destroy. With 3D printed architecture, we just might be able to afford to replace it. Whether we get the chance to try is uncertain.

Disruptive technologies are always opposed by the businesses they replace. 3D printing will eventually be seen as a threat by the transportation, oil and manufacturing industries, but they're not the only problem.

The biggest threat to 3D printing may come from the government itself. Since the beginning of time governments have engineered society to make people as controllable as possible. People who are completely self-reliant are difficult to control. Theoretically the primary interest of a government is to take care of its people. In practice, the primary interest is to stay in power, and to collect the most taxes possible. We're on our own; we might as well act accordingly.

Widespread prosperity will never happen in a system that depends on making products as expensive as possible. That approach has led to difficult economic times with limited solutions.

In the past, governments have tried to print their way to prosperity by printing more and more currency. It can work in the short term, but there are always long term consequences. The more dollars there are, the less each dollar is worth.

For the first time in history, we have the ability to print goods instead of currency. We have the technology to make us all wealthy. However, as long as we live in a system that defines wealth as currency, we are unlikely to have either wealth or prosperity.

The possibilities of the Hue system are limited only by the imagination, and commercial development is underway. Philips has released a developer package to encourage development of Hue compatible products by third party developers, and we can expect some amazing products in the near future. We'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, visit for info.

Note: We're now offering a sensor module to automate testing of Hue systems, for sale or for rent. Email Glen at amreview1 at for more info.

Glen Emerson Morris was a senior QA Consultant for SAP working on a new product to help automate compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley law, an attempt to make large corporations at least somewhat accountable to stockholders and the law.
He has worked as a technology consultant for Yahoo!, Ariba, WebMD, Inktomi, Adobe, Apple and Radius.

Copyright 1994 - 2011 by Glen Emerson Morris All Rights Reserved ' keywords: Internet advertising, Internet marketing, business, advertising, Internet, marketing. For more advertising and marketing help, news, resources and information visit our Home Page.

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