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Innovation Lessons From 3-D Printing

3-D printing is the printing of solid, physical 3-D objects. “Just as the Web democratized innovation in bits, a new class of ‘rapid prototyping’ technologies…is democratizing innovation in atoms,” Wired magazine’s longtime editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, stated in Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. Indeed, open-source 3-D printing fits in with the general trend of open-source innovation by collaborative online communities. The big question: How should existing companies respond?

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News from the start-up scene

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As the downturn continues, some technology start-up companies are closing or being acquired at low prices, The Wall Street Journal reports. That, along with a reported decrease in angel investing, raise questions about the environment for innovation.

But the news isn't all bad.

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The open-source hardware trend

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Technology Review  has published an interesting article about the increasing popularity of open-source hardware — and its use by companies ranging from Nokia to start-up Chumby.

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Open source…prosthetics?

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First there was open source software. Now, Scientific American reports, there's an open source prosthetics community working on better artificial hands and arms.   The reason? In the United States, the number of amputees missing an arm or hand is too small to justify a lot of commercial research and development.

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