In many ways, 3D printing is the fulfillment of the future we were all promised. We may not have flying cars or robot housemaids, but we do have access to an almost magical device that can make our imaginations a reality. It wasn’t long ago that such a device was considered far-fetched, even by science fiction standards.

I’ve been a lifelong geek myself. As long as I can remember, I’ve been building things, taking things apart, and putting them back together (sometimes successfully). When I was very young, this mostly meant building things like spaceships with Legos. When I got a little bit older, I gained access to hammers and nails, and suddenly I could build things at a life-size scale (though this mostly resulted in lopsided ...

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