The 3D printing industry is a democratizing agent of manufacturing. The accelerating rate of technology is affecting our world in ways most people aren’t even thinking about. Chicago’s 3D Printer Experience is aptly named: It aims to educate and engage the public by offering a relaxed setting to learn about a beneficial new technology, which is the 3D printing industry. The 3D Printer Experience offers design and manufacturing services for both first-time and experienced entrepreneurs. Founder and CEO Julie Friedman Steele aims to make sure that as many people as possible get to be a part of and understand the things that are going to radically change our world.

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Steele especially loves working with social entrepreneurs to make a difference in the lives of others. One company, Portapure, worked with Steele’s company to created a piece of a water bottle with a filter inside to provide clean drinking water to people in Haiti. The way in which the 3D printing industry is democratizing manufacturing is that small companies and businesses will have the same access as large corporations have. Steele insists that entrepreneurs, if they love what they do, don’t need to have an exit strategy. She says, “It’s possible now to launch financially sustainable businesses on their own and make and impact on the world.”

With crowdfunding on the rise, entrepreneurs are finding ways to raise funds and compete with the big guys. There is some concern about intellectual property, which is an issue for any creator, artist, or inventor. Apparently, Steele’s company also helps entrepreneurs deal with this issue in keeping and guarding those rights.

I have had to deal with the issue of intellectual property for years as a songwriter and author. Today, it’s fairly easy to copyright and trademark your intellectual property online, and websites like Creative Commons and others are making it easier to legally use photos and videos for blogs and other uses. If you have any questions about those issues, I often have informative posts relating to the arts on Also, definitely sign up to receive my monthly newsletter here.

It is nice to see a company like the 3D Printer  Experience committed to education about the growing 3D printing industry. As there is a variety of materials that can be used in 3D printing, including bronze, cobalt, nickel, gold, platinum, bone, and even chocolate (I have no idea how, but I’d enjoy the taste tests!), those of us who are constantly flooded with new ideas will have more options within our reach to fulfill and actually create those new ideas. The next years will be interesting to see how technology advances and what options continue open up to expand our thinking and imagination. So don’t quit learning and growing. (See pages on Goal Setting here!) Definitely don’t be afraid of the technology. I will guarantee that there will be YouTube guides for most everything! They are much easier to understand than some of the manuals that came with my music equipment. They were so confusing that I had to have a separate guide to translate the original manual! Now we just pick the video we want to watch! 
Subscribe to Facebook Musician Page & Monthly Newsletter! ©Deborah Johnson • Twitter:  Check out FREE Download of 70 page Study Guide: 40 Days to Getting Un-Stuck. “We’ve got it made,” by Lynn Haller, Entrepreneur (March 2015) p.22

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