Could 3D Printing Change the World? Atlantic Council issued the latest Strategic Foresight Initiative Report, co-authored by Thomas Campbell, Christopher Williams, Olga Ivanova, and Banning Garrett.

From the Atlantic Council website:

A new technology is emerging that could change the world. 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a revolutionary technology that could profoundly alter the geopolitical, economic, social, demographic, environmental, and security landscape of the international system. AM builds products layer-by-layer—additively—rather than subtracting material from a larger piece of material—that is, “subtractive" manufacturing. This seemingly small distinction—adding rather than subtracting—means everything. This potential revolution in manufacturing may take a decade or more to mature and become ubiquitous, but it could profoundly change our world in the next ten to twenty years.

....Will 3D Printing indeed change the world in these and other profound ways? Of course, it remains to be seen. The military already views AM as a potential technology for specific tasks which could have huge efficiency and cost-saving benefits, such as the production of spare parts to reduce inventories carried by ships. But the foreign policy and defense and intelligence communities must look more systematically at how new technologies such as AM could transform the world in fundamental ways that affect the global economy, societies, and the overall strategic and security environment....

+ Link to full report (PDF; 2.08 MB)


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