There are several technologies I absolutely adore and 3D printers are one of them. 3D printers are devices that can make objects from a design file using a series of printer heads to slowly piece the object together from raw material. For instance you could make a Glock pistol frame from strings of plastic by melting the plastic which would be ejected from the printer heads in the desired form. I didn’t realize how far this technology had come along until I found out the made Robert Downy Jr.’s Iron Man armor for Iron Man 2 using such a device.
The suit parts were constructed using 3D printers which made fabrication as simple as designing them on a computer. Likewise they were made to fit Downy’s body making them more comfortable to wear on set.
I got excited about this technology when it was used in Daemon and Freedom(TM) by agents of the Daemon to construct pretty much everything they used. Of course the 3D printers used by Daemon agents were able to use metal dust to construct objects that plastic just wouldn’t work for (such as machine parts for their automated vehicles). Having such devices in your household would be a huge boon. Just imagine being able to construct a 1911 frame out of metal dust (Oh that would make the anti-gunners shit themselves endlessly). Or maybe construct replacement parts for your vehicle. So long as you have raw materials around you could conceivably create anything you want or need.
Currently this technology is pretty pricey although there is a project called MakerBot which is an open specification for creating such machines. MakerBots can currently made almost anything that is within 4″x4″x6″. Obviously that’s not very practical yet but it most certainly will become more advanced and cheaper as time goes on, that’s the benefit of technology.
Frankly this technology is practically limitless in it’s potential. I’m glad to see it’s advancing pretty fast.