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3D Printing: Social and Cultural Trajectories

Thursday, 5th December 2013.
AGSE 207
Social Aspects of 3D Printing

In recent years, inexpensive 3D printers have allowed users to fabricate items that would otherwise be conventionally produced in specialised, remote factories. With this capability comes a range of questions for social and cultural analysis: How are people using 3D printing technology? What legal and policy frameworks shape its development? How are its capabilities differently imagined by consumers, regulators, experts and enthusiasts? What kinds of markets and practitioner communities are forming around the technology? The symposium aims to open up an exploratory conversation around these and other issues, connecting researchers from across the humanities and social sciences.

The symposium is organised as part of the Legal and Social Implications of 3D Printing project, funded by a Faculty of Life and Social Sciences Research Development Grant, and managed by The Swinburne Institute for Social Research. The project examines the emerging technology of 3D printing and its potential cultural-economic, legal and policy consequences in Australia and beyond. It has a blog and Twitter account.

Time Session Details
0830 - 0900 Registration
0900 - 0930 Welcome and introduction to the Legal and Social Aspects of 3D Printing Project at the Swinburne Institute for Social Research
0930 - 1100 Session 1: Applications of 3D Printing
Dr Clint Arizmendi & Lt Jacob Choi, Land Warfare Studies Centre: '3 - and 4D printing: reshaping security in the 21st Century'

Prof John Magnussen & Dr Jaye McKenzie-Clark, Macquarie: 'The Use of Medical CT Scanners and 3D Printing in Museum Practice'

Prof Marcus Wigan, Swinburne: '3D printing in environmental and logistical contexts'
1100 - 1130 Morning tea
1130 - 1300 Session 2: Site Studies of 3D Printing
Prof Donald McNeill, UWS: '3D printing and the restructuring of urban economies: the case of Brooklyn'

Dr Xin Gu, Melbourne: ' "New Work Unit": a 3D printing and hacker space in Shanghai'

Dr Dennis Wollersheim, Latrobe & Paul Taylor, Quantum Victoria: 'How 3D printing is feeding an Australian Maker Culture'
1300 - 1400 Lunch break
1400 - 1530 Session 3: Social Theory and Cultural Studies of 3D Printing
Dr Tama Leaver, Curtin: 'Let's Get Physible? The Pirate Bay and 3D Printing'

Robbie Fordyce, Melbourne: 'Manufacturing household governance: additive manufacturing and the social factory'

Luke Heemsergen, Melbourne: 'Sintering socio-political assumptions: towards typologies and disciplines of 3D printing research'
1530 - 1600 Afternoon tea
1600 - 1700 Keynote speech
Dr Matthew Rimmer, ANU: 'Intellectual property and 3D printing'

Discussant: Prof Julian Thomas, Director of the Swinburne Institute for Social Research
1700 Close

Swinburne University is located in Hawthorn, a short distance from the CBD. The campus is accessible by train, tram and car.

The symposium will take place in room AGSE 207 of Swinburne's Hawthorn Campus


By train, the university is accessible from the Alamein, Belgrave and Lilydale lines from the CBD. Alight the train at Glenferrie station (NOT Hawthorn) and leave through the exit to your right. Turn left into the laneway and walk to the end where you will arrive at Swinburne.

See for more information


By tram, the university is accessible from the CBD by taking the No.16 - 'Kew to St Kilda Beach'. This tram departs from outside both Melbourne Central and Flinders Street train stations.

You can alight the tram on Glenferrie road and walk through the shopping centre arcade through to Swinburne University.

See for route maps and more tram information.


By car, the university is accessible from Burwood road. There is free 2-hour parking in Serpells lane, off Burwood road. Burwood road also has two-hour parking, though be careful to check signage for clearway times.

There is council pay-parking behind the Hawthorn Town Hall on Burwood road.

There is also a multi-deck for paid car parking ($6.50 per day) on Wakefield street, off Glenferrie road.

For more information on accessing Swinburne's Hawthorn campus and a campus map visit

The Quest, Hawthorn
Quest Hawthorn Quest Hawthorn

The official conference accommodation is the Quest Hawthorn.

Quest is an apartment-style accommodation complex located around the corner from Swinburne University at 616 Glenferrie road. All rooms have kitchen facilities and complimentary wifi.

To book accommodation, call Phone: +61 (0)3 8803 7700 or Email:

Ibis Styles, CBD
Ibis CBD Ibis CBD

If you prefer to stay if the CBD, a popular choice is ibis Styles Melbourne, The Victoria Hotel 215 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.

This is a recently refurbished hotel in the centre of the CBD. Walk to trams and trains to get to the conference in under 15 minutes travel.

To book accommodation at Ibis Styles, call Phone: 03 9669 0000 or 1800 331 147 Toll Free or Email:

Organising Committee

Special thanks to Grace Lee and Maria Han for their admin support


For all enquiries please email

3D Print Twittter Please follow 3D Print Symposium @social3Dprint on Twitter

For more information, you can read our blog on