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3D Printers

Space, swords, bones: 3D printing (literally) makes our world

Forget those silly little figurines. The real work in 3D printing will go into things that matter, like bone grafts, full-size bridges -- even a building on the moon.

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Right now, 3D printers are mostly peripheral items owned by other people to make cool and quirky things: nerdy figurines, bit parts, the occasional crazy snack that grows its own mushroom filling.

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In only five years, though, 3D printing has come a long way. More and more we see creative geniuses apply 3D printers to solve problems for the greater good.

Soon, 3D printers will become more synonymous with medical uses like 3D-printed organs, bone grafts and prosthetic hands (or webbed feet or beaks) than with squirting out cookies.

Respectable organizations, not just hobbyists, will turn evermore to 3D printers and various printing materials (metals, for example, not just the typical plastic polymers) to create specific, even stunning works of cultural import. Say, for example, a city bridge.

The possibilities are truly endless, and we're just beginning. What will we create next? What would you?