It may not be revolutionizing the world in the way some futurists once predicted, but 3D printing is revolutionizing some surprising corners of it.
A few years ago, we were promised that 3D printing would transform the world. In 2011, the Economist featured a 3D-printed Stradivarius violin on its front page, claiming that 3D printing “may have as profound an impact on the world as the coming of the factory did.” These enormous hopes for digital fabrication, and especially 3D printing, may have seemed overinflated. But perhaps the impacts are finally materializing.
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