Will.i.am's Theory About 3D Printing People Really Makes You Think


Noted hologram will.i.am once again has some really advanced ideas about the future and he’s gracious enough to share them. This time, he’s waxing poetic about 3D printing.

3D printing is some freakish stuff in itself, if you’ve ever seen it in action. Now imagine this: 3D printing people. Will.i.am knows your mind is blown, but settle down. He has a theory on this, which he posed to Dezeen Magazine during an interview about his sustainable product line Ekocycle.

He’s the chief creative officer of 3D Systems, so he knows these things. You know he’s about to say something controversial because he prefaces it with, “I’m going to say something controversial,” and then says:

“Eventually 3D printing will print people. That’s scary.”

It is. Explain yourself, please.

“So right now we can print in post-consumer plastics, which is awesome. We can print in aluminum, which is bigger machines and awesome. We can print in titanium, which is pretty freaking crazy and amazing. We can print in steel, which is freaking hardcore. You can print in chocolate, and that’s sweet…”

By now, you should get it—everything is freaking printable. He goes on anyway:

“You can print in freaking protein; you can make freaking meat. You can print leather. You can print a liver. So if you can print a liver or a kidney.”

Go on… So this means…

“God dang it, you’re going to be able to print a whole freaking person. And that’s scary.”

That is scary. Personally, I have a feeling this won’t be possible but it’s just a hunch. According to The Verge: “Numerous difficulties (such as manufacturing working blood vessels) stand in the way, and the process of 3D printing whole bodies — let alone conscious humans — is just speculation.”

Why listen to these people, though. Will.i.am has the answers. He’s smarter than the average human and Dezeen points out that we’ll be 3D printing human tissue in like a decade. We have to be ready just in case. Because this is already an inevitable reality in will.i.am’s head:

“So unfortunately that is the reality, but at the same time it pushes humanity to have to adhere to new responsibilities, new morals. New lessons are going to have to be implemented. For real.”

It’s a good thing! (See, Kate?) He says:

“Now we’re getting into a whole new territory. I don’t know what year it was, Moses comes down with the Ten Commandments and says ‘Thou shalt not…’ He didn’t say shit about 3D printing… Humans – as great as we are – are pretty irresponsible. Ask the planet. Ask the environment.”

Well, there it is. Ask the planet.

Image via Getty

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