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.
|Cargoshell: The Collapsible Container of the Future|
|Army Helicopters of the Future|
|"Luddites weren’t wrong, just premature."|
|“These changes will likely mean a decline in job security and standards of living for many.”|
|The Impact of Self-Driving Cars|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“The world’s first hydrogen-powered train.”|
|The Pirate Supply Store|
|“A dystopian vision of the future is already happening in China.”|
|“When Life Gives You Lemons.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“The first-ever driverless mass transit test program.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“Google isn’t liable because it is nothing and nowhere and endless.”|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|“Rejuvenation is Finally an Industry.”|