In 2013, Industry Experts, Commentators and Players Created A Number Of (Physical!) Books To Help Explain, Explicate And Illuminate The Accelerating Social And Commercial Phenomenon Of 3D Printing And Digital Fabrication—What We Call, In Aggregate, “3DP.”
Here is a selection of what I consider the best of these books—along with short descriptions. Explore, learn, employ…!!
THE FUTURE—SIX DRIVERS OF GLOBAL CHANGE
by Al Gore
In 3DP, we’re in the business of change—and profiting from change requires charting the alternatives and achieving the best of them.
When dealing with—preparing for?—the future, one needs a map. With a “map” to what may be, you can hope to actually arrive at your predetermined (desired!) point, place, position in the future. What’s also called “planning.”
Let me suggest that any map of the “coming”—a charted organization of possibilities converted to probabilities—is better than no guide at all. Even a bad map will get you “there.” Whereas no-map circles you back—in a tortured tour—to your beginning in the past.
Al Gore—a visionary who only lacked political skills when he needed them most—has created his forward look at what is to come. And, presents that vision in compelling and cogent fashion. (And, for you visualists, he outlines his sections with mind-maps—my favorite way to “map” information into knowledge on the ground—the “ground” of YOUR territory and triumph…)
Let President Al present you with a polymath’s version of what could be—if we’re smart enough to “elect” his vision…this time.
FABRICATED: THE NEW WORLD OF 3D PRINTING—THE PROMISE AND PERIL OF A MACHINE THAT CAN MAKE (ALMOST) ANYTHING
By Hod Lipson & Melba Kurman
Start with this 3DP-primer—whether your DigiFab savvy or not.
Hod and Melba are a husband and wife team of 3DP enthusiasts who temper their delight-filled flights of DigiFab exuberance with solid research and sober reporting. For every projection of 3DP wonder they provide a countervailing 3DP “wait-a-minute!”
The effect is conducive to reader trust in authorial tantalizing. AND, certainly!, 3DP HAS been subjected to media hype that befits the mystery of new tech. A technology that is hard to visualize and understand. And, the high promise around this new paradigm of manufacturing also projects radical changes in the way goods are sold and distributed.
Professor Lipson declaims on 3DP and robotics at Cornell. And, Ms. Kurman blogs on DigiFab from her own online media platform. The authors’ 14 chapters cover almost every facet of the 3DP industrial segment. This book is currently the best starting point for an overarching intro to 3DP.
MAKERS—THE NEW INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
By Chris Anderson
BUT, if you’d like a handbook on 3DP AND a broader discussion of its implications for us all, let me recommend MAKERS. Chris Anderson has hands-on experience in tech-based making. He is the founder of a DIY/hobbyist drone manufacturer—having come up as a hands-on “maker” in that arcane trade (now that drones are such hot and contentious subject—morally and geo-politically).
The new Maker world that Anderson profiles in his book is a Web-driven industry with novel advantages when it comes to job creation and worldwide success. Anderson lists three such advantages to Maker-based businesses: (1) most are open-standards and open-community based (this means they enjoy networked effects from the start, particularly in kick-off marketing via “word of mouth”); (2) most are Web-centric and thus they presume speed, research and resourcing success and the inherent ability to save money by democratizing solutions; (3) most are instantly globally engaged and worldwide competitive because they are transnational by dint of being born online.
Once you’ve perused our other knowledge resources, you might want to dive into MAKERS to tie it all together. AND, see where 3DP might take you…as a new Maker “Preneur!”
ZERO TO MAKER—LEARN (JUST ENOUGH) TO MAKE (JUST ABOUT)
By David Lang
David writes and edits for “Make:”—the Maker-focused magazine of Maker Media’s empire of Digi/Fab inspiration, information and how-to.
Mr. Lang only came to this enviable—well, for some of us, anyway—position in the 3DP world of bottom-up DIY via the “Novice2Guru” route of wonder foretold, got hold and retold. He dived into Making—absolutely cold—and reported on every (mis)step of the way.
David is a great story-teller AND the Maker Movement is FULL of great stories. Along the way with Dave, you’ll learn about “making over” via social genius in DIT (that’s Do-It-Together), the Neo-Production sensibilities in the grass-roots and going ProManuf in your own eCottage Industry.
Prepare to have your preconceptions about 3DP remade…by David Lang’s (writing) hand.
I plan to continue adding to our library of 3DP books here: so…