We're a long way off from Star Trek's replicators, but the next best thing is becoming more affordable and popular: 3D Printing. Graham Templeton of geek.com has put together this list of ten objects that prove 3D printing will change the world. Above, the Sad Keanu meme turned into a 3D action figure.
This has been a big year for 3D printing, but to really appreciate the progress it's made we need to look at some of its most ambitious, inventive, or just plain odd products. We've reported in the past the NASA has begun printing shuttle parts that are theoretically mission-ready, and that the process has become so normal as to spawn a vending machine. However, it's in the mass use of digital manufacturing that it will truly change the world, not just streamline the production process for those who were already doing it, but bring that ability to an audience literally thousands of times larger than before.
Here are ten 3D-printing projects from 2012 that show just a bit of the potential of this exciting new technology, either the bold new directions it can allow or the somewhat alarming obsolescence it can forecast for certain industries.
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|Returning to a One Planet Civilization|
|Google's Project Glass: Augmented Reality Eyeglasses|
|Sheerwind: Wind Harvesters for Electrical Production|
|"New drugs [...] appear to vastly reduce the need for sleep without significant side effects."|
|"Is meant to produce more energy than it consumes."|
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|“We have to forget steel as a core employer.”|
|“It’s not something you would expect to see there and not something we’ve seen there before.”|
|"The first to target civilians and the first such malware built to target a nation’s power supply."|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Drone carrying defibrillators could begin operating in Sweden.”|
|“Making paper out of stone.”|
|"Its tilted axis makes orbit, showing the position of the sun and the time."|
|"Technological transformation first reduced the income of the populations for decades, although societies became wealthier in the long term."|
|It's a Commercial About a Sweater|
|"There's a giant tsunami of societal change."|