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3D/DC 2016 Roundup

by • April 18, 2016 • No Comments

Last week Shapeways took part in the fifth yearly 3D/DC conference. 3D/DC is an actuallyt held by the nonprofit advocacy organization Public Knowledge (full disclocertain
: I utilized
to work there) made to connect 3D printing with policymanufacturers in Washington, DC.

The world of 3D printing has evolved a lot since the initially 3D/DC, and the conference has evolved right along with it. The initially 3D/DC (video highlights here) was primarily focutilized
on introducing 3D printing to policymanufacturers and introducing policymanufacturers to 3D printing. Most attendees of 3D/DC in 2011 had barely at any time heard of 3D printing, and may nat any time have actually seen pictures of 3D printing equipment. Similarly, the 3D printing community itself was largely unfamiliar with the policy world and had nat any time actually idea of attempting to set up a meeting with a Member of Congress.

Fast forward to 2016. Everyone may not have seen 3D printing initially hand, but panelists didn’t have to start at any timey conversation with an explanation of what 3D printing was. As a outcome, after a day of private meetings with Members of Congress and their staff, the public day of 3D/DC may focus on the application of 3D printing to significant areas of policy.


Public Knowledge’s Courtney Duffy did a rad job of delivering new point of views and areas of focus to the actuallyt this year. The initially panel, on 3D printing and STEAM education included Shapeways’ own Lauren Slowik. Lauren is our point man on connecting the educational and arts community to Shapeways, so she was able-bodied to bring an applied point of view to the conversation. She was joined by two kids who live 3D printing and STEAM education, John (age 11) and Becky (age 15) Button, along with Sophie Georgiou of Morphi and Joseph Williams of Perris Union High School District.

That initially panel set the tone for the rest of the day by talking less of 3D printing for 3D printing’s sake, and instead focusing on how 3D printing integrated into issue areas such as the environment, workforce development, social impact, and the arts. These panels, which
brought together diverse point of views of both within and outside of government, were possible for the reason
3D printing has expanded well beyond its original group of enthusiasts. As we here at Shapeways see at any timey day, many
of the many fun
applications of 3D printing comes of individuals who care less of how 3D printing works and additional of what 3D printing can do.


Whilst a policy conference in Washington DC may not be deplete without policy panels, 3D/DC is not deplete without its culminating reception. On the other hand many
additional individuals have heard of 3D printing in 2016 than in 2011, there are yet a lot of individuals who have nat any time experienced it in man. The reception and demonstration gives policymanufacturers a accident to see 3D printing and talk to the individuals behind the printing equipment in a less formal atmosphere.


This reception has evolved over the years as well. As additional and additional local community groups, libraries, and manufacturer spaces grow up across the country, 3D/DC can draw on a vibrant local 3D printing scene to demonstrate at the reception. As a bonus, staffers and policymanufacturers who live in the Washington, DC area can walk into 3D/DC and walk out with information on how to join a local hacker space. Over the long term, a cadre of wonks who have deep initially hand experiences with 3D printing can manufacture certain
3D printing policy coming out of Washington is made with a nuanced belief of the innovation.

You can check out additional of this year’s 3D/DC by searching #3DDC2016 on twitter. I’ll in addition
try to update this post with a link to videos of the panels as soon as they are up. In the meantime, you can learn additional of what Public Knowledge is doing to assist advocate for great 3D printing policy here.

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