I would normally advocate the technology advancement and say that you are just being paranoid, but I do see your point clearly. It's sad, really; so many excellent advancements are historically misused for the wrong purposes. I'm pretty sure, like you, that these will soon be in the spotlight of the six o'clock news.
Have you heard of the $100 Peachy Printer? See http://www.peachyprinter.com/ and watch the "How It Works" video (link at bottom left). This nifty design was crowd-funded via Kickstarter by Canadian inventor Rylan Grayston, whose team is on track to ship kits this summer. It uses your PC or laptop stereo sound card to direct a UV laser pointer in X and Y dimensions via mirrors. The microphone input counts water drops as they increment the Z axis by floating the liquid resin layer higher and higher under the print head.
Coupled with a digital camera and a precise turntable, it will also scan objects to digitize them in 3D. The print volume is only limited by the size of the liquid reservoirs and the required resolution. The team plans to print a canoe, as their ultimate demo milestone. Resins are being developed for the printer with varying rigidity, though there is not an easy way to print a single object with multiple resins or varying properties. The kit includes everything but the reservoirs and support structure, which can be built from parts obtained locally.
I contributed enough via Kickstarter to get the basic kit, and have already begun working on the the resevoirs and supports. I plan to print prototype parts for some of my own inventions.
The 360 perspective is really quite cool, so I hope you're right, 78RPM. Until now this has been sort of a specialized effect. Perhaps one day they will be as popular as Polaroid cameras once were. (Yes, I am dating myself!)
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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