Part of your assignment is to discuss the future implications of 3-D printing and comment on a quotation from the video clip “3-D printer could create human organs”. In what follows, we will give you some points for a discussion of the future implications of 3-D printing based on the two texts in your exam set, and help you comment on the quotation.
The future implications of 3-D printing
Both Text I and II can offer you some insights into the possible future implications of 3-D printing.
Text I focuses on the future implications of 3-D printing in the medical field. According to the video, in the future, human organs, tissue, bones, and cells will be created using bio-printing and will be used to replace the failing body parts of patients. This future scenario implies that more lives will be saved. Furthermore, this might also mean that human life could be improved and prolonged.
However, Text I also suggests that bio 3-D printing might be used not only to create organs but also to clone or replicate human beings. The implications of this future scenario are less reassuring, as there are many complex moral and ethical issues related to human cloning.
Text II, “3D printing technology will change the world and the way we live says expert Stuart Grover” presents various future implications of 3-D printing technology.
First of all, the example of Stuart Grover and Howard Wood who have opened 3-D printing shops suggests that, in the future, 3-D printing shops and home 3-D printers will become a normal part of our economy and lifestyle: “He predicts that in the not-too-distant future we will have small 3D printers at home and go to a printing shop for more complicated projects.”
This implies that most of our products will not be made and assembled in factories or manually, but that they will be created using 3-D printers. The article gives the examples of “shoes, dresses and jewellery”, “food”, “car parts”, “household items”, “guns”, “mini chess pieces”, “toothbrushes”, and “bags”.
These examples suggest that virtually anything might be created using 3-D printers. People’s lifestyles will change and this will have implications for the economy.
The quotation you have to comment on from “3-D printer could create human organs” is: “Is this a kind of a pathway to cloning a human being?”
The anchor in Text I asks a reporter whether 3-D printing might become another way to create human clones, considering that embryonic stem cells and even organs have been printed using this technology.
The reporter argues that it might be farfetched or misleading to use the word ‘cloning’. She prefers to think of it in terms of building or replicating a human being using this technology. However, she argues that it might be possible to create a whole human body using 3-D printing in the future. Nevertheless, she also draws attention to the fact that human identity could also be replicated in other ways, such as replicating the virtual footprint we leave online on social networks, emails, and other digital technologies.