Way back when I was in college I took a trip to NC State to visit a friend. His roommate at the time was working on a 3D plastic modeling technology which blew me away at the time (over 10 years ago). Essentially you would scan an object into a computer and a printer would spit out plastic to make an exact 3-d duplicate of it. It was amazing back then and it’s stil amazing today.
What’s more cool about it is that it’s going mainstream. Makerbot Industries is aboout to drop its MakerBot Replicator for home use. The Brooklyn-based company is making the first 3-D printer for home use. Sure, it’s pricey (retails at $1749) but it’s more than a toy. It has practical uses for small at-home manufacturers as well. Check it.