Now that we can download designs and turn them into objects, it's time for regulation to catch up.
3D printing exists and, without an appropriate policy framework, we run the risks of repeating mistakes in dealing with online copyright and file-sharing that are only just now being addressed a decade on. 3D printing faces similar challenges, but the stakes, potentially a significant proportion of the global manufacturing industry, are much higher. We need the state to be proactive in confronting the challenges and opportunities. Anything else risks missing out on some much needed growth.