There is little doubt that 3D printing technologies will change our economies, but how and to what extent? In the current context of worldwide economic crisis and severe environmental challenges, what can we expect the long-term effects of 3D printing technologies to be? What does 3D printing means for re-industrialization and sustainable development? These are some of the questions that this session aims to address. In particular, the issue of the ‘virtuous technological path’ will be discussed.