Journal article

Social Practices of 3D Printing: Decentralising Control, and Reconfiguring Regulation

L Heemsbergen, R Fordyce, B Nansen, T Apperley, M Arnold, T Birtchnell

Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy | Telecommunication Society of Australia (TelSoc) | Published : 2016


This paper considers the social practices of 3D printing by comparing consumer perspectives and practices with legal scholarship on intellectual property regimes. The paper draws on data gained through a mixed-methods approach involving participant observation, focus groups, and social network analysis of 3D printing file-sharing practices. It finds that while consumers display a level of naivety about their 3D printing rights and responsibilities as individuals, they possess a latent understanding about broader digital economies that guide their practices. We suggest that the social practices associated with 3D printing function through communication networks to decentralise manufacture and..

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