3D printing fancies and fantasies

3d-printed-ear3D printing fascinates me. It probably does a lot more than that for the scientists who are ever closer to printing out entire human organs. It is already possible to small body parts and  heart tissue  that actually beats by using this technology.  Researchers are developing skin graft printing, blood vessels and kidney cells. 

Of course the humanitarian uses of 3D printing are the most important. And, here is a band that plays 3D printed instruments,. What extraordinary times we live in.

I am curious about other practical uses. We know about printing furniture and even houses have been printed in China but as a closet Trekkie, I want to know when we will be able to print nutritious food in our own kitchens. In Star Trek land the “replicator” was asked to provide tea and cookies and they appeared as if from thin air. Were they actually printed incredibly quickly using original tea and cookie material? Will we soon have a choice in a restaurant between 3D printed no-calorie, no preservatives, no food colouring, gluten free, dairy free ice cream with hot chocolate sauce and the as-nature-intended alternative?

On a more serious note,  there are already 3D printers making real guns and we know how that technology can evolve, however the scope for artists with a techie side is huge. Here is a polished nickel steel sculpture by Manfred Keilnhofer created in 2014 and aptly named.

Guardians of Time

Guardians of Time

 

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