The 3D Printer: Part 1- The Emergence of Tangible Internet Pirates

Skipping the intro until a time where I can formulate important pieces (focus question, topic sentence ect.) in this textual jigsaw puzzle. My first segment will throw you into the deep end by showing you how the 3D printer has paved the way to a new form of piracy.

Previous to the invention and public emergence of the commercial 3D printer. Internet pirates were in the intangible market. This meant that they dealt with files such as music, movies and games. However, Post event, pirates of the web have been given the opportunity to steal and share physical objects. “We live in a world” Says PBS’s Mike Rugnetta “Where I can email you a spoon”. This ideology (and by default), practice has ushered in a new wave of media marauders who can pirate anything from shoes to guns.

Pirates are as much a competitor in the consumer market than officially licensed companies. They offer consumers a price risk of nil. As such, companies must beat that by creating a better experience than that of illegal sharers. Such an ability can be seen on Makerbot‘s website where they use advertising and marketing techniques to make a customer feel loyal to what they are buying. Steam uses give-aways, iTunes uses associated products and Makerbot uses a professional GUI. The idea of this professional engineer-esque website and the quality of the printers, in my opinion, makes me feel like part of the Makerbot company and I feel a sense of filth downloading free content illegally instead of paying for it on the store. Of course it has not stopped people downloading content usually issued by the aforementioned industries. And Makerbot itself has rules on what can be downloaded. Rules that are un-aparent in a pirates web cove.

In TorrentFreak’s Ernesto’s blog post, they discuss DEFCAD as the first priveteers to launch a Pirating search engine for 3D printer files. It is elaborated how prior to their development as a Tango’s haven, the group had uploaded a file for the first working 3D printed gun to Thingiverse, Makerbot’s official file store. The company quickly took down the file and shunned the group for creating such a device against U.S and U.N official firearm laws. It was this oppression to free will on the web which sparked the un-contestible creation of the 3D print bay.

So it can be deduced that Piracy will always be a contender in the online world. It is an issue that can not be eliminated, only monitored by officials and competitors alike. Though, the emergence of the three dimensional printer has opened many positive possibilities as a piece of convergent technology. This I will look through throughout the week. Till next time.

Referencing List

YouTube. 2014. Will Minecraft and Makerbot Usher in the Post-Scarcity Economy? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 March 2014].

DEFCAD Launches ‘The Pirate Bay’ of 3D Printing | TorrentFreak. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 March 2014].

Thingiverse – Digital Designs for Physical Objects. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 March 2014].

MakerBot | 3D Printers | 3D Printing. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 March 2014].

Welcome to Steam. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 March 2014].


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