FEATURE18 February 2014

Plastic fantastic

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Impact Video

iMakr’s Sylvain Preumont tells Brian Tarran how 3D printing will transform our consumerist society into a creative collective.


Opinions are split on the subject of 3D printing. Those who see it as ‘a good thing’ will point you towards the story of the University of Michigan doctors who quickly created a custom-made splint to prop open the windpipe of a two-month old baby, thus saving its life.

But then there are stories like that of Cody Wilson, an American law student and self-styled crypto-anarchist, who has set up a non-profit organisation to promote, develop and publish open-source gun designs, allowing anybody with a 3D printer to arm themselves. To some, this makes 3D printing a potentially dangerous and worrisome technology.

Sylvain Preumont, founder of iMakr – a 3D printing shop on London’s Clerkenwell Road – scoffs when we mention both stories. “Oh yes, ” he says, “and have you also heard the one about Nasa investing in 3D printers in order to print pizzas? Come on!” he exclaims. Preumont, it’s fair to ...