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.
|"All fossil fuel–fired power plants could be replaced with nuclear facilities in a little over 30 years."|
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|“The autonomous ship does not mean removing human beings entirely from the picture."|
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|“Forget reading the book of life—we’re now learning how to write it.”|
|“The era of climate wars has begun.”|
|"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December."|
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|“Once artificial-intelligence software is good enough to drive a car, it will be good enough to do a lot of other things too.”|
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|“The direction of the cost of storage is less clear and depends on metals prices.”|
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