Three-dimensional manufacturing is making something out of practically nothing. People are buying these printers at a rapid rate–one New York outlet that sells 3-D printers sold 15,000 of them last year.

But it won’t be that way for long: When "three-dimensional assemblers" become practical, they will be able to replicate themselves, eliminating shipping costs.

In the February 8th edition of the Austin Chronicle, Michael Ventura quotes researcher Neil Gershenfeld as saying, "Digital fabrication will allow individuals to design and produce tangible objects on demand, wherever and whenever they need them. Although today’s digital manufacturing machines are still in their infancy, they can already be used to make (almost) anything, anywhere. That changes everything.

"Even more important is what the assemblers don’t create: trash. (A) product assembled from digital materials need not be thrown out when it becomes obsolete. It can simply be disassembled and the parts reconstructed into something new."

Ventura describes a pork chop created by a printer as "produced by a bioprinter equipped with pig-cell ink that had been grown in vitro." This printed meat could help lessen the objections to raising and slaughtering meat the old-fashioned way, and it’s cheaper than feeding and herding farm animals.

You’ll someday be able to print a computer that lets you listen to all your favorite Dreamland shows with great fidelity–but you STILL won’t have access to them (although the most recent one is FREE) until you subscribe. It costs less than a latte a WEEK to join, so what are you waiting for? Subscribe today!

Alas, you can’t print your own tickets to our extraordinary Nashville Symposium, to be held May 17-19–you have to get them from us. This is a weekend with three of the most extraordinary thinkers in the world. To get your tickets, click here. The price includes breakfast Saturday and Sunday and lunch on Saturday.

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