ALT Title: How Hyperprinting Makes and Breaks The Setting In The Best and Worst Ways
The purpose of this thread was originally to act as a place to talk about underdiscussed but well represented technologies in New Eden, and well… discuss them, but then I got the brainbug to focus in specifically on a fairly common lore aspect we as players regularly interact with, and what allows a lot of the big fights to ever even happen, as well as the Empires and Pirate Factions to maintain their significant and massive fleets and other things.
If you are a fan of Belisario’s Maxim, which posits ‘Don’t Look To Closely At It’ this may not be the thread for you.
To start with, ‘Hyperprinting’ is my player description of the aggressive and robust additive manufacturing systems presented as ‘common’ in the setting, and is not expressly how it is described in lore as written
“Hyperprinting” Additive Manufacturing - A Fairly common and underdiscussed technology in-setting, tied in directly to capsuleer and baseline industrial manufacturing across the cluster, the exact methods this is accomplished are largely left vague but generally attributed to nanite and atom line printing. The ‘Hyperprinter’ Technology sets are not analogous to Replicators in other sci-fi settings such as Star Trek, but are still an exceptionally powerful, and reasonably common part of the setting as its what allows the production of kilometer long battleships in hours, multi-kilometer capital ships and stations in days, and bulk production of millions of rounds of various munitions and other items in very short order. Hyperprint technologies in setting are robust enough to allow both macro and micro-scale production in bulk, both in localized en situ, and strategic bulk production formats, and should(but does not always seem to) affect the availability of cybernetics, implants, and a great
The exact distribution of this technology is difficult to pin down, but due to its prevalence especially in spaceborne industry, its appearance in empire and non-empire stations, player deployed structures, planetary prefab colonies, and more, it is common enough that its usage, and impact should be felt more readily across the setting, particularly its affect on availability of common goods, yet we continue to see shortages and rationing of ‘luxury items’ in various places. There can be reasons for that unrelated to the actual availability of the technology and more its focus and usage at the setting’s nationstate level, but its exclusion from certain parts of the narrative background, despite at minimum being close enough to most places in an FTL economy to allow a significant throughput does raise a number of questions in regard to why
Related technologies include the newer Itenerant Forges of the Minmatar Republic, Nanohive ‘Hot Printers’ for direct munitions manufacture, SmartFab Units, Structure Autonomous Nanoassembly Device (Upwell)[STANDUP] protocol systems, Structure Deployment Nanite Scaffolds, Valkyrie and Schism shipboard fightercraft production facilities, and many more which further exacerbates potential issues of significant manufacturing capacities being higher than is usually acknowledged, or stated as being when placed in conjunction with the base Hyperprint technologies and more mundane manufacturing in an FTL economy where most places, at least in Empire space, are within an hour’s spaceflight and surface to orbit, and orbit to surface transfer systems being reasonably accessible in turn for planets even if one presumes most significant hyperprint industry is spaceborne and confined to empire industry capable stations.
The general point being raised, in regard to lore related to the above specific example of technology is not ‘New Eden should be a universe of utopian abundance’ as it obviously is not, but that its concepts of ‘scarcity’ and material shortages likely need to be viewed in different lens than it often seems to be, both by players and even I’d argue at times, the lore team over the years(acknowledgment given to the fact that the lore team until the last few years was very limited in its scope for a good while).
This thread’s existence and being put to the forums is largely inspired by @Uriel_Paradisi_Anteovnuecci 's Twitter/X post expressing discontent with how often significant amounts of information and discussions get locked away on discords and other private venues where they can’t bee searched or otherwise archived in a meaningful way.
As with most things, its complicated, and since this is a Lore DISCUSSION thread, people are also free to discuss/contend/disagree with that which is written above, as well as bring up other underutilized, or ‘there but less explained or handwaved’ technologies.
(I’d like to close for now with, CCP’s Narrative team actively puts in a lot of work to make this universe, well, work. I hope that generally this is seen for what it is by them as someone passionate about the setting wanting to see it continue to flourish. Not everything needs to be explained, but sometimes it helps to recontextualize a bit.)