You can make a lot with Makerbot! As far as I'm concerned, the future is here. A 3D printer company called Makerbot exhibited its capabilities at New York Comic Con, and the implications of such technology are profound if not downright fun (see blue guys below). Makerbot produces 3D printers that are actually available to the public ($2,000 - $3,000).
There were a lot of figurines shown at the Con, but CBS ran a story this morning about the more practical implications of this technology. Another 3D printing company, Stratasys, is responsible for a four-year-old with a rare disease being able to use her arms. Jay Leno uses the company's products to create new parts for his classic cars.
Part of the reason I find the whole 3D printing deal amazing is because the main world in my novels uses such replication of inanimate objects as easily as we toast a piece of bread today. But more importantly, the implications of this technology have so much potential to be so good and so bad for us.
No doubt, medical advancements (new limbs, etc) will change lives for the better. However, Stratasys already removed their product from the home of a man who was raising money to create guns with it.
So what laws do you think will eventually fall into place over this new technology? What do we need to be careful about? How do you see a 3D printer improving your life?