I read in Slashdot about a fascinating technology called 3D Printing that is finally going to make our miserable, unfulfilling lives worth living again. Whereas a conventional printer lays down ink on a flat paper using what is basically a 2D bitmap, a 3D printer starts with a 3D representation of an object, slices the model into horizontal layers, and then “prints” a physical, tangible object layer by layer. The “ink” used varies, but the most favored technology for mainstream application actually works like an inkjet printer, printing with superheated plastic that cools into its final form. According to the source article at New Scientist, consumers are likely to see 3D printing first from toy manufacturers, and complex objects with moving parts aren’t yet possible, but eventually I expect to download a big file off the interweb and print out my very own Metallica CD or talking cat.
hazel adds: and this technology will finally let me realize my dream of food-based inks that will let me download a pizza on my easybake printer.
jacob’s update: talking cat.
hazel’s update: grumpy cat!