Print the Legend
- 1h 40min
Follows the people racing to bring the hot new 3D printing technology to your home, documenting the "Macintosh Moment" of this revolution and exploring what it takes to live the American Dre... Read allFollows the people racing to bring the hot new 3D printing technology to your home, documenting the "Macintosh Moment" of this revolution and exploring what it takes to live the American Dream.Follows the people racing to bring the hot new 3D printing technology to your home, documenting the "Macintosh Moment" of this revolution and exploring what it takes to live the American Dream.
The documentary does not veer into melodramatic territory however, as the emotional moments are balanced with actual discussions about the technology and its potential impact. In fact, one of its most interesting thread-lines is based on Cody Wilson, an anarcho-activist with an ideal for a world in which 3D-printed deadly weapons are accessible to anyone, and the reactions of the industry and authorities to such a radical concept. The film likewise benefits from very fortunate timing as showing Formlabs's relative "infancy", MakerBot's "teen and early adult" years and the "middle-age" of older, established industrial-3D-printing companies like 3DSystems and Stratasys (now wanting to enter the consumer-level market too) allows us to compare how the companies and personalities that form them change with their personal aging as well as the fast aging of the market and technology. One particularly notable case is MakerBot's definition period resulting in a shift from its early ideal of open-source engineering (in which anyone can collaborate in hopes of making a better product rather than in hopes of monetary gain) to the closed-source version of it (in which work is traded for a salary and the ultimate goal is for the company to make profits, better products along with copyright and intellectual property-based incomes, being only means to that end). This contrasted to 3DSystems's supposed shift away from taking legal action for the use of their IPs in search of a freer environment for development of the industry and products (a shift that by the end of the documentary seems to have had more ideological than practical results).
Altogether, I found "Print the Legend" to be more surprising and interesting than expected, although dragged down a bit by its edition, mostly in the form of a somewhat overlong runtime. The film brings to mind other historical cases of emotional, human actions perhaps getting in the way of technological progress (and perhaps fueling them a bit too), like the now famous rivalries of Tesla/Edison, or Jobs/Gates, in the progress showing how the human condition is so incongruous. It is completely human to be emotional and illogical, to put personal ambitions before "greater good"s; it's also completely human to believe in the greater good, to have ideals and to want to make a better world; but perhaps there is nothing more completely human than drawing a blank when trying to come up with ways to reconcile these two sides, specially without losing even a bit of what makes us human in the way.
- Apr 27, 2016