“Just as personal computers have dramatically changed everyday life, 3-D printers will profoundly affect how products are made, designed and consumed, say Cornell professor Hod Lipson and analyst Melba Kurman in a new report.”

A very encouraging report has just been submitted to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Recommendations include:
1. Put a personal manufacturing lab in every school
2. Offer teacher education in basic design and manufacturing technologies in relation to STEM education
3. Create high quality, modular curriculum with  optional manufacturing components
4. Enhance after school learning to involve design and manufacturing
5. Allocate federal support for pilot MEPs programs to introduce digital manufacturing to regional manufacturing companies
6. Promote published and open hardware standards and specifications
7. Develop  standard file formats for electronic blueprints design files
8. Create a database of CAD files used by government agencies
9. Mandate open geometry/source for unclassified government supplies
10. Establish an “Individual Innovation Research Program”  for DIY entrepreneurs
11. Give RFP priority to rural manufacturers that use personal manufacturing
12. Establish an IP “Safe Harbor” for aggregators and one-off producers
13. Explore micropatents as a smaller, simpler, and more agile unit of intellectual property
14. Re-visit consumer safety regulations for personally-fabricated products
15. Introduce a more granular definition of a “small” manufacturing business
16. Pass the National Fab Lab Network Act of 2010, HR 6003
17. “Clean company” tax benefits should include efficient manufacturing
18. Offer a tax break for personal manufacturing businesses on raw materials

19. Fund a Department of Education study on personal manufacturing in STEM education
20. Learn more about user-led product design

Download the entire paper.

Lipson, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and computer science, and Kurman, of Triple Helix Innovation, make the case for strong government support of such digital fabrication technologies as the authors of a report commissioned by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.