3D bioprinters are sophisticated machines that can print biomaterials such as blood vessels or skin tissue. While critically important to the future of medical research and technology, their complexity makes them accessible only to a small group of users with institutional budgets and extensive training. Until recently. A California researcher made his own 3D bioprinter on a shoestring budget using salvaged parts. He then shared his process online, making a once obscure, expensive process open source for all. As technology becomes more widely available and open source software, designs, and processes become increasingly popular, what will remain in the domain of the well-funded specialists? Should companies prepare for their processes and technologies to no longer be proprietary and out of reach of the enterprising public? How can businesses thrive when their processes are openly and widely available?
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