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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Disruptive Technology

The Big Idea for Saturday, April 06, 2013

By removing familiar, time-honored manufacturing constraints, 3D printing sets the stage for "a cascade of downstream innovation." In their book, Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing, Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman explore how 3D printing technologies will change the ways we work, eat, heal, learn, create and play.

According to Lipson and Kurman, 3D printing technologies "ease the tyranny of economies of scale" due to a number of principles that they lay out in today's lesson. These principles, the authors argue, are either true today, or will be true in the coming decades. 



  1. 1 3 Ways the Magic Wand of 3D Printing Will Go Mainstream
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 The Ten Principles of 3D Printing
    Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman Experts' Corner
  3. 3 5 Steps to a 3-D Printed Eyeball
    Big Think Editors Top Five
  4. 4 Bre Pettis on The Disruptive Future of 3D Printing

Disruptive Technology

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