Cadman-LT, I agree. Its an awesome feeling to be able to think of a design and within several minutes see it materialize before your eyes. Neil Gershenfeld's vision of Fab Labs has definitely transformed into opportunities he could only imagine. The Manufacturing of the Future is alive and it fits nicely on a desktop.
I'm looking forward to a bioprinted liver to replace my current transplant when it wears out in about 20 years. It would be nice to get off the expensive immunosuppressant drugs I have to take to prevent rejection.
But why stop with existing organs, why not make a few improvements while we are at it?
I find it interesting that they are talking about including 3D printers on space flights so they can make replacement parts. Would have come in handy for Apollo 13.
I thought robotics were going to be the future, right now it looks like 3D printing is going to be the transformative technology.
Sounds like you've been reading Raymond Kurzweil's books, BrainiacV. I don't know if any of his predictions involve 3D printing, but the two of you seem to be on the same wavelength. He has written two books on living forever: "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and "Nine Steps to Living Well Forever." Kurzweil's a prolific inventor (notably, the Kurzweil reader) and, it should be mentioned, former Design News Engineer of the Year.
Cabe, that gave me a good laugh. I don't think 3D printing technology has yet arrived that can print at the molecular level :-). Regarding why do this, the main point is customizing the electronics to fit an individual's needs, such as the customized grip mentioned in the article.
Wow, Cabe, you weren't kidding! I remember hearing about MBE a while ago, but didn't realize it was a 3D printing method. Must be insanely expensive. I'd bet a lot of technology has been inspired by Star Trek shows.
I'll bet we can look forward to all sorts of electronic hacks in the future with this techology. I can imagine future nerd clubs sharing files (and a 3D electronic printer) that you can interlink to build all sorts of stuff.
George Leopold's talk at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis helped restore astronaut and engineer Gus Grissom's role in the beginnings of NASA, and outlined how Grissom played a pivotal role in winning the Space Race.
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