attached mail follows:
I agree with Steven's cautionary tone, but I think we can suggest
possible answers to some of his questions.
The current situation with on-line music publication may provide a model
for watching how this thing goes with protecting the intellectual property
rights of the artist/designer. To the extent that the designer wants to
gain a following and is willing to let copies go out free, the current
state of the Internet makes it possible. All we need is Marshall's million
fabbers. To the extent that the IP is protected, you will need some sort of
protection software embedded in the design's code and you will likely want
some sort of payment system. The current payment system is already showing
flaws, as in the on-line auction business, where some of the goods being
sold are not what they were represented to be and some of the buyers have
not paid up.
I imagine some artists will belong to pop-up 3-D clip art catalogs and
will collect royalties from sale of the catalogs, rather than from each
individual use. As Michael and I have discussed previously, it will also be
one thing to buy a copy and another to buy the original from Michael, with
his finger prints on it, digital or otherwise. It might be nice if the
starving artist in Indonesia or Africa or New York who creates something might
be able to sell it directly to me, and profit thereby, rather than go
through a trader.
The issue of the million fabbers is one we can't predict. When networked
computing was first conceived and then demonstrated in the 1960s, the
microprocessor and affordable personal computers did not exist. Although I
agree that creativity is not widespread and that I can't imagine what I would
make on such a machine on a daily basis (afterall, I don't shop everyday
for new objects or even replacements, let alone art objects), it's funny
how people find interesting uses for new technology, once it's available.
As other technologies take over more and more of our basic needs, perhaps
we will become a global society of artists, communicating through visual
and tactile art works, as well as through words and sounds.
I disagree that the Internet hasn't created 500,000 newspapers; we do
have them. They're called Web sites. It's just that most of them are read by
very few people. To the extent that an artist is publishing physical
objects, the analogy to the newspaper, publishing information and news to other
people, is similar, except that an old newspaper has limited use, whereas
a published art work continues to have value. >>It keeps on giving.<<
As for material limitations, I imagine that will not be a limitation in
the future. We are not limited to black and white printers today. It's easy
enough to foresee that material cartridges will exist, allowing
multiple-head jetting of composites of materials. The creativity of that aspect
alone is intriguing, as people experiement with functionally gradient
materials and varying aesthetics of composite constructions. The cost of such
cartidges will likely not be cheap, which is why the materials producers are
the ones really interested in keeping RP alive and progressing. One
concern I have is the recyclability of such composites.
Steven's Kinko-ization future is a distinct possibilty. A flurry of
activity and then consolidation. But again, the impact of cheap RP is not so
easy to predict. Consider the following statements in the context of RP:
>>By augmenting human intellect, we mean increasing the capability of a
man [sic] to approach a complex situation, to gain comprehension to suit
his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems...Every person who
does his thinking with symbolized concepts (whether in the form of the
English language, pictographs, formal logic, or mathematics) should be able
to benefit significantly... You can integrate your new ideas more easily,
and thus harness your creativity more continuously, if you can quickly and
flexibly change your working record...a direct new innovation in one
particular capability can have far-reaching effects throughout the rest of
your capability hierarchy... These latent capabilities may previously have
been unusable in the hierarchy and become usable because of the new
capability at the higher level...<< [Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual
Framework, by Douglas C. Engelbart, Stanford Research Institute, October 1962]
After writing that, Doug and his SRI team went on the next year to invent
the computer mouse, as a first step, as well as the modem, hyperlinking
of documents, and a host of other technologies that totally changed our
relationship with the computer and with the world around us. Doug and his
team were simply trying to make better use of the computer to solve complex
problems by involving more people simultaneously in the process. At that
time, they could not predict cheap, ubiquitous personal computing or (at
least not all of) its consequences. Cheap RP could, likewise, open up latent
capabilities and applications that we don't realize and can't predict.
[formerly the Stanford Reseach Institute)
Steven may be right with his Kinko-ization comment. Perhaps
>If people can view the file over the internet then what will prevent
>SAVING THE FILE AS just like you can do now with pictures? Would you
>insert a poison pill in the image file? Or alter it to be incomplete?
>would prevent them from completing it?
>Also, you might get a number of artists selling libraries to the
>to be included with the hardware.
>I still disagree about the million fabbers though. Even if the price
>to $1,000 in todays money, like a good scanner or printer, most people
>buy one. Especially if they were limited in material use. Maybe one
>output in steel, another in precious metal, still another in ceramic,
>high density plastic. You have stated before that it may become
>fabbers which I could agree with, but I do not see it evolving into
>because of the specialized materials.
>Creativity is also not widespread.
>There also may be a Kinko-ization of RP. First you may get 500,000
>fabbers but eventually they will be bought out and consolidated.
>the end product will cause further centralization. The internet has the
>to create 500,000 newspapers, but it has not. Indeed, people like the
>Report are internet enabled but you still do not have 500,000 active,
>commercially viable publishing houses. Maybe 5,000 if you are generous.
>would a cheap RP bring about any greater proliferation of manufacturers
>internet has of publishers?
>Marshall Burns wrote:
>> From: michael rees <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> >Please visit the web page of this talented jewelry student at Tyler
>> >Philadelphia. Put that in your machine and smoke it!
>> Thanks for pointing this out. This is the future of manufacturing
>> merchandizing. In the future, there will be hundreds, then thousands,
>> then millions of these on-line catalogs showing products that people
>> designed and made on their fabbers. Viewers will have the choice of
>> these products from the designer, either as shown or with custom
>> modifications, or downloading the CAD file (with a royalty
>> charged to their credit card) so they can make it on their own fabber
>> modify it themselves before fabbing. One difference, on Web sites of
>> future the images will be 3-D so viewers can rotate them and look at
>> from all angles before deciding on a purchase.
>> Congratulations are due to Stanley Lechtzin for designing the
>> Temple University that brought this work about. One complaint: There
>> unless I missed it, no way to contact the student directly if one is
>> interested. The student's own e-address should appear on the site.
>> Marshall Burns, President
>> Ennex(TM) Corporation
>> Fabbing the Future(TM)
>> 10911 Weyburn Avenue, Suite 332, Los Angeles, U.S.A. 90024
>> Phone: +1 (310) 824-8700. Fax: +1 (310) 824-5185
>> E-mail: fabbers@Ennex.com. Web site: http://www.Ennex.com
>> ***** Copyright (c) 1998, Ennex Corporation
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