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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Denis Kolesnikov
Intellectual Property in the Age of Digital Manufacturing Technologies
2017
Digitization has gradually reached tangible objects. The convergence of the worlds of bits and atoms has become a reality with the advent of digital manufacturing technologies (DMT), including 3D printing, 3D scanning and bioprinting. 3D printing is a relatively new technology that allows lay people to create a wide range of items in the comfort of their homes by a mere button click. The distinction between physical objects and digital files is now blurred as bits could be easily transformed into atoms and vice versa. Following the instructions in digital CAD-files, 3D printers allow to print complex objects from a wide range of different materials. The method that 3D printers use to create things is fundamentally different from that used in traditional subtractive industrial manufacturing.

The development of new technologies is always a two-sided question that fears ones and thrills others. With the spread of cheap 3D printers and the development of the technology consumers will be much more involved in the creation, customization and manufacturing of products. Further development of these disruptive technologies has, on the one hand, a potential to bring the economic and social benefit, from the return of the means of production to individuals and the acceleration of technologies spread all over the world. But, on the other hand, massive distribution of innovation can lead to decentralized piracy and loss of profits by traditional intellectual property-dependent industries.

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