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What role will 3D printing have in our society?

3D printing is HUGE and it's only growing, quickly. It's been called this centuy's most disruptive innovation. And there doesn't really seem to be any limit to what you can actually print.

How do you think that it will effect the world in the next 10-15 years?

What are some really cool 3D (or 4D) printing objects or projects that you know of today?

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    Dec 18 2013: It's the Guttenberg revolution of stuff.
    Good designs won't have to go through the marketing process, and will be shared instantly. This will boost design and everything in our homes is about to evolve, litterally. Better spoon, better coat hanger, better screw driver... objects will have very short lifespans and people will keep an eye out for updates.

    Some people will try and sell their designs for buyers to print out, but inevitably designs will become free. Just as I'm sharing my ideas for free right now. People just enjoy sharing ideas. So objects will become free.
    It won't be long before we can 3D print medecine, food, computers, etc... basically for free.
    This will change the world in a way I can't really imagine.
    We might also be able to print people someday, but the implications go beyond my imagination.
  • Dec 22 2013: There are some breakthroughs that need to be done before it really takes off. Do not get me wrong, I still think it will be huge without the breakthroughs. It is currently using only 1 material at a time. We need to go to the 14 nanometer range with multiple materials being placed on the product at the same time. Also, need stronger materials to withstand pressure and heat.

    Currently, I know of several projects using the technology in Industry to create prototype parts to see if they fit together. In these applications the current materials would not last long enough.

    In the near future, I could see people creating small items like screws, nuts and bolts, etc. to use in house.
  • Dec 22 2013: Is there any possibility to have a 3D printed beautiful damsel , a complete human being ? Lot of things are being printed these days using 3D printing technology so,this thought popped up in my mind.
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    Dec 18 2013: Here is one medical application in the works: http://www.mit.edu/~tdp/medical.html
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      Dec 18 2013: The site doesn't seem to have been updated since 2000. Is it really still in the workings? I can't find anything more recent on this then 6 years ago (I did not search that much).

      Have you seen the related Talk? http://www.ted.com/talks/lee_cronin_print_your_own_medicine.html ?
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        Dec 18 2013: I couldn't find where that specific effort is now housed, but here is another useful resource that I found through MIT's Media Lab. It's a weekly 3D printing newsletter! http://on3dprinting.com/category/news/3d-printing-week/

        And yes, I have seen that TED talk.
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        Dec 18 2013: A friend of mine was at a conference in California a couple of months ago when his molar cracked. He called a dentist who said he could put in a crown that afternoon.

        This sounded odd, as around here it would typically be one appointment to figure out what was needed and then coming back a week later for a fabricated crown to be put in.

        My friend went in that afternoon, was examined, and was able to watch the crown being made in the dental office on their 3D printer and then put into his mouth. All done!
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          Dec 18 2013: That's a really good example of what 3D-printing can do! Amazing, the amount of time and resources that just this examples saves for people.

          Do you know anything abut the price, like was it cheaper then it usually is where you live?
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        Dec 18 2013: I did not ask my friend about the price. This sort of thing is covered by the dental insurance people get through their employers, so I am not even clear he would know.