Maybe you’ve heard of this already. Everyone who grew up watching Star Trek has been dreaming of machines that can construct any object out of nothing. And now some ingenious tech startups are actually starting to move the technology into reality. A 3D printer uses cartridges of raw material instead of ink to build physical objects, layer by layer. According to this infographic, they can make lots of designs out of plastic, rubber and polyeurethane.

Think about the implications of this kind of technology. If you could make anything with your own printer, you’d never have to wait for it to ship to your house. Transportation costs would plummet for all sorts of goods. We wouldn’t have to ship everything from China anymore; you’d just need the right design programmed into your printer. The problem of distribution for nearly anything would be solved. This has the potential to change the world, quite literally.

INFOGRAPHIC: Objects on Demand: The Rise of 3D Printing
Via: HighTable

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