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3D printing technology has three primary characteristics that make it perfect for addressing an unexpected mismatch between supply and demand.

DIGITAL PROPERTY RIGHTS NEED TO BE ADDRESSED TO SUPPORT INCREASED USAGE OF 3D PRINTING PRODUCTION.

First, relative to traditional manufacturing techniques, 3D printing is more flexible. The same machine without any reconfiguration can be used to produce (almost) whatever is needed, as long as there is access to the proper raw materials and designs. Second, with 3D printing, production can be located close to where the goods will be used. This reduces transportation costs and allows for production decisions to be made based on local needs. Finally, 3D printed goods can be produced on demand and used almost immediately. While the actual production times vary, eliminating reconfiguration and transportation times makes the overall speed to addressing a shortage is faster…

While prior efforts – including an initiative by President Obama – have stalled, we now have the tools and resources needed to accomplish this task. The remaining challenge to achieving this goal is economic rather than technical in nature. Crucially, blockchain will play a key role in overcoming that challenge…

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