Chapter 16: Don’t believe the hype? Recent 3D printing developments for law and society
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This chapter builds on the author’s work in Socio-Legal Aspects of the 3D Printing Revolution to examine recent developments in 3D printing’s interaction with law and society to determine how disruptive a force 3D printing actually is. Relevant legal developments are: the 3D printing firearms legislation enacted in the Australian state of New South Wales; the intervention of 3D printing companies in the Star Athletica v Varsity Brands copyright litigation in the US; and the US Food and Drug Administration’s guidance on 3D-printed medical devices. Significant market developments are considered, including companies from certain incumbent industries moving into the 3D printing space, while 3D printing firms which have been particularly active in consumer- or prosumer-oriented markets scale back their operations. These developments do not refute Socio-Legal Aspects of the 3D Printing Revolution’s main argument: that 3D printing in practice is not prevalent enough yet to be truly disruptive for law and society, despite its theoretical potential.

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