3D Printing: The Technology of Tomorrow That Exists Today
For those who have ever watched Star Trek, the replicator is a familiar machine -- capable of creating and recycling objects.
The technology may seem futuristic, but 3D printing has actually been around for more than 25 years, according to an infographic from The Best Computer Science Schools.
Prosthetic limbs, prototypes and vehicles are things you'd probably expect 3D printers to be capable of making. But the list of items already being created by 3D printing also includes clothing, synthetic food and trees. Trees!
While industrial 3D printers run from $5,000 to $1 million, consumer printers can go for $1,000 or less.
The worldwide market for 3D printing was $2.2 billion in 2012, an increase of 29 percent from the previous year.
It's estimated to grow to $3.7 billion by 2015. Hold on to your phasers, comrades.
Here is the full infographic:
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