Print me out the Moon: 3D Printing


By Vincent Tan

Have you ever gazed in envy at your friend’s Rolex? In time you may be able to print your own. In a twist on the ancient art of alchemy (make your own gold from lead), 3D printing technology could snap this dream out of its pipe. We are now able to create items in steel, plastic, ceramic, glass, even ooey-gooey chocolate, and as the costs fall, the consumer-oriented printers will enter more homes, granting broader access to an expanding range of products.

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This is true not only for toys and clothes. Machines like Foodini by Natural Machines are now being used to help create delicate fine cuisine dishes. On the horizon are food printers that cook as well as print your food.

As the popularity Minecraft shows, (recall ‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘Babylon’, Lord of the Rings’ ‘Minas Tirith’ and Game of Thrones’ city ‘King’s Landing’ formed out of textured blocks) there is enormous satisfaction to be had from designing and creating. If we are given our own world-building blocks (in the form of 3D printers) what would we change in the world?

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Well our choices are certainly not shrinking as the frontiers of the technology constantly advance. Scientists are currently working on printing organs for transplants, potentially saving many lives. It’s like Bella Swan being given the powers of a vampire and suddenly being able to do so much more.

We are standing on the threshold of the “third industrial revolution”, rising up like a wave of colours with all its myriad possibilities and the changes they entail. Hope you have your surfboard.