3D Printers - The New Bread Maker?

We are seeing a lot of articles extolling the wonders of 3D printing and using 3D printers in the home. 3D printers are computer-controlled devices, allowing the fabrication of solid objects by building up layers of material - think of it perhaps as "sculpting by computer". With prices coming down to comfortable consumer levels, many pundits are starting to offer scenarios where "everyone" has a 3D printer in the home and is busy making all kinds of stuff
Image from Engadget

Microsoft is also bringing 3D printer support into the Fall update to Windows 8, thus making it even easier to bring one home. Of course, we are also starting to see the flip side of the phenomenon - health warnings, and hand-wringing over the possibility that rudimentary guns or other weapons can be made with these devices.

My guess of what will actually happen is that yes, 3D printers will be a popular item for a while, and people will make many little doodads and trinkets with their new toy, but I further predict that it will become a high tech bread maker - so full of hope and promise, but ultimately relegated to a dusty corner of the garage after a few months.

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