Dan of Dan’s Data has posted a look at the state of 3-D printing.  If you can afford one of the printers, you can have just about anything you can imagine.  Or if it works out like he is thinking, a trip to Kinko’s or Office Depot may be a bit more interesting in the future.

“In The Beginning of “additive” 3D printing (as opposed to the old “subtractive” milling machines that cut a shape out of a block of source material), there were stereolithography machines, that UV-lasered a slowly growing resin prototype out of a bath of liquid, layer by layer. Now the big news in general purpose 3D printing is a similar layered arrangement, but using a fusible powder that gives more rapid printing with less fuss, and a more durable result. This is the same basic idea as was used by MIT’s original 3D printing machines, but those machines used cornflour or plaster as the powder. Today’s powder-printers (and their wire-fed competitors) can make objects that don’t, um, fall apart in the rain.”

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