It's a bold statement to make but, just as the Cotton Gin is often referenced as an invention that changed the world, in my opinion, so will 3D printing.

It's been in development for a while but is now at a point in bringing affordable 3D printing to the masses.

In this months Wired article "Dreaming in 3D" Chris Anderson talks to MakerBot co-founder; Bre Prettis about how his company is helping accelerate that revolution. 3D printing has endless potential, but it does give rise to questions and a change in how we think about Intellectual Property (IP) and morality.

In March 2011 Surgeon Anthony Atala talked about how he used a 3D printer to create a transplantable kidney using living cells. An amazing humanitarian achievement. A sad, but very real fact of today, is that there is a shortage of transplantable organs. His research and achievements are paving the way for on-demand transplantable organs, an achievement that will undoubtedly change modern medicine.

Disney are using the technology for rapid prototyping and in imaginative new ways in their toys.

In stark contrast though, just today, in the news plans to print a 3D gun were halted by 3D print manufacturer Stratasys after it found out Defense Strategy planned to make a gun with it.

As revolutionary as this invention is it will bring on a whole new debate about moral and IP concerns. Stratasys thoughtfully empathizes on it's website, defending it's contractual revocation with Defense Strategy: "How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the internet?"

Marc Goodman from the Future Crimes Institute also states: "It will be the next frontier in IP [Intellectual Property] theft when you are able to manufacture a Rolex watch, Gucci handbags, Nike sneakers,"

This invention has amazing potential, but it will be interesting to see how, as it becomes more and more mainstream, we deal with some of it's implications.