Will.i.am Raises Concerns About 3D Printers Printing People

Posted on March 9, 2015

Willpower by Will.i.am

3D printers are getting cheaper and may eventually become a device that is in every home. They can be used to print a variety of different 3D objects using plastic filaments, such as a plate, a toy or a replacement part for a gadget or appliance.

A MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D printer is pictured below. As time marches on 3D printers are going to get more affordable and more complex. Eventually it will be probably be possible for home 3D printers to do much more than just print 3D objects like a plastic bunny. 3D printing may expand so people can print metal objects, drugs and biological materials at home.

Singer-songwriter Will.i.am is looking into the future and sees 3D printing becoming more and more like a Star Trek replicator. Will.i.am is the chief creative officer of 3D-printing company 3D Systems so he does have experience with the technology. In an interview with Dezeen he says new morals and laws are needed. He is even concerned about 3D printers printing people within our lifetime.

MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D printer


Will.i.am says, "Eventually 3D printing will print people. I'm not saying I agree with it, I'm just saying what's fact based on plausible growth in technology and Moore's law."

He also says, "So if you can print a liver or a kidney. God dang it, you're going to be able to print a whole freaking person. And that's scary. That's when it's like, whah! And I'm not saying I agree, but plausible growth would say that with multiple machines that print in different materials, you could print in protein an aluminium combo."

3D printing is going to make a big impact on our lives but we don't think they are going to be printing people as soon as Will.i.am thinks they are. If people printers do become available soon they will cause lots of problems and raise ethical questions, such as What rights do printed people have? and How many Will.i.ams am I allowed to print on my new 3D people printer?

Image: Interscope Records