On his website, Henry Jenkins states that transmedia is “…a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels…”. By these means, 3D printers assist transmedial representation of various fictions by bringing items and characters into a tangible world. Though most of these prints are not licensed by creators of what they represent, if transmedia can be created by audiences, there is no truer way than bringing props and figures into the home.
3D printers allow users to enter the worlds of the stories told by fiction writers and creators. One can print wands, portal guns, creepers, sonic screwdrivers, one rings, dales, R2D2s, transformers and scale models of winterfell which transport them into alternate universes and give them possibilities for their own expansion on stories told originally on one platform.
The 3D printer channel is different to most others because it relies on people to make their own stories with what they print. As opposed to the story being told by the alternate platform itself. The prosumption nature of 3D printers is also a switch in conventional transmedia. Jenkins states that transmedial representations of stories come from the same company and that it is created for different purposes that support the story creators. Because of this, one can argue either that 3D printers are not transmedia or that the model needs to change for the rise in new technologies and a growth in prosumption creates more fan based transmedia”ing”.
All in all, transmedia is a theory that mildly expresses what 3D printers can do for fandoms. However, some aspects of the theory do not match and, in my opinion, could evolve with prosumptive culture in order to express different forms of possible transmedia.
Jenkins H (2007) “Transmedia Storytelling 101″ (ONLINE) http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html [accessed april 2014]