The rise of goop

An interesting idea dawned on me recently. Many people have commented that the advent of 3D printing means that it is really the design of objects, rather than the objects themselves, that has value. The day may arrive when if you need a new thing—say, a coffee cup—you just use the design to print one off.

Of course, it’s not merely the design of the object that has value there; the raw materials used to make the thing—likely plastics and metals—have value. Maybe we’ll all have a pile of goop that we use to make new things. And if we run out of goop we’ll simply melt down some existing objects back to their goop form. “We’re out of scissors? Melt down the old television and use that!”

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