It's quite possible 2012 may be the year of 3D printing, when this three-decade-old technology finally becomes accessible and even commonplace. Lisa Harouni gives a useful introduction to this fascinating way of making things. It's capable of creating hundreds of products that are, for the most part, simply impossible or extremely difficult to make with other manufacturing processes, or by hand. It could let customers create unique items that are perfectly suited to their tastes, within a designer's limits, of course. And most incredibly, 3D printing is already being tested as a way to develop human organs, cell-by-cell, as replacements for ones that have been lost or destroyed. The possibilities are simply endless, and we're excited to see what the future holds.
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