3D printing will impact our civilization the same way industrial revolution did. It represents the final digitization of products and services. If multi media business has been greatly impacted by the digitization and distribution of music and films, 3D printing will operate on every product we may imagine, not only music and film but QUASI EVERYTHING, and will impact every business related to goods production and goods distribution.
As a side effect 3D printing will empower sub-cultures and Permaculture is a target of choice in this revolution,
Because 3D printing is about the popularization via internet of complex design and Permaculture is eager to develop or integrate technologies into complex design. Its ecosystemic foundation prepares Permaculture to integrate functions developed for complex systems integration.
Permaculture subculture is already using internet and design sharing in the settlement of the various functions of the farm and if current functions are still basic because of economic constraints their evolution will tend to merge into a subtle and complex paradigm in order to become energy efficient, interactive, adapted to the connection with the complexity of life, locally customized and CHEAP.
Permies are proactively working on function design evolution and we can imagine that with design sharing will come open source collaboration for adding sub features and customized primitives to the functions.
Maybe the 2 most fertile areas in 3D printing usage by Permaculture are
– the necessity for recycling material or elements used in the printing. Modularity based 3D printing will ease re-use and repairs of functions and modules, disassembling and material recycling of elements. A paradigm already part of Permaculture principles.
– the collaborative dimension in the Permaculture world where we can imagine Permaculture cooperatives able to invest in professional/semi-industrial 3D printers able to handle all types of materials; metal, polymers with different textures and recycling capabilities, new materials with printed inner structure improving resistance and flexibility. If not at cooperative level the sharing will be done at digital level with a shared library of design easy to implement through local or regional companies.
By mastering every aspect of the closed loop performance, both in natural based mechanisms and industrial and integrated functions, thanks to the globalization of 3D design and the efficiency (energy wise and material wise) of 3D prints, Permaculture will challenge the big corporations (agro-industry) on their specific strength; economy of scale.
When 3D printing “Close the Loop”
Another extremely powerful drive toward green economy will come from 3D printer’s owners need to reduce the cost of material and use recyclable resins.
Some equipment allows now to recycle resins at home and re-inject them into the 3D printers;
For the one familiar with Cradle to Cradle (Closed Loop) this means that the Cradle to Cradle revolution could come from consumers and not from the industry. Once again the incentive is cost reduction, as smart design applies in the Cradle to Cradle paradigm to decrease recycle costs under new materials purchase prices.
In this video a recycling machine produce the resin filament used by 3D printers;
Not only 3D printing recycling process capability could remove waste issued from 3D printing but could as well trigger the transformation of existing plastic waste into plastic resources.
Some study even states that this type of recycling will be greener than conventional recycling. External resource : read more here . By only considering the reduction of material purchase and recycling transportation costs we may agree on this statement.