Categories: PrintersWorkspace

Blurb Launches Print-On-Demand Magazine About 3D Printing

Publishing platform Blurb has partnered with design blog Dezeen to create Print Shift, an experimental magazine about 3D printing that is made to order for every reader, individually.

The 60-page, advert-free publication will cost £8.95 and, thanks to its transient nature, the creators have absolutely no idea how big any given production run is going to be.

It is available from the Blurb online bookstore from Tuesday.

A shift indeed

3D printing is on the verge of entering mainstream culture. The technology had already matured a decade ago, but the ability to create real-life objects from 3D models was too expensive, reserved for serious design and prototyping purposes. In contrast, today, 3D printing is used to make anything from medical devices to iPhone-encasing shoes and personalised sex toys.

“It is no longer about start ups and transformative production methods, it’s part of the landscape of several industries,” Marcus Fairs, editor-in-chief at Dezeen, told TechWeekEurope.

Print Shift is among the first publications dedicated to the exciting world of 3D printing, and it uses a publishing model very appropriate to its topic. Blurb’s print-on-demand technology has enabled Dezeen to produce a magazine without concern for minimum order requirements, lead times and upfront costs.

“Print Shift was printed-on-demand at our state-of-the-art print facility in Eindhoven in the Netherlands in a matter of days. By linking together new developments in both 3D and book and magazine publishing, we hope to showcase the potential of on-demand-printing and inspire people to create their own high-quality books and magazines using Blurb,” added Charles Davies, Blurb’s MD for Europe.

According to experts at Dezeen, very soon 3D printers will learn to successfully combine plastics and metals, and even produce “gradient” materials that, like human bones, have different properties in different sections of the printed part. Scanning and digital archiving of physical objects is also set to become a huge business.

However, there’s also a darker side to this technology: last year, US law student Cody Wilson and his non-profit Defense Distributed made headlines for sharing blueprints for 3D printed gun parts online. Last month, the same organisation announced it was working on a search engine dedicated to copyright-free 3D blueprints.

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Max Smolaks

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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