Have you ever watched an episode of star trek where they walk up and speak into a little computer in the wall and ask for something… anything… and it generates it for them? And you thought to yourself… man! I wish I had one of those!
Well now you CAN… The future is HERE… well… almost…
The day may not be far off that rather than going to the store and purchasing a new television or remote control that you can have it fabricated in your very own home using a printer-sized factory to download and build it.
Introducing the fabathome fabricator (home page found here)
Unfortunately the technology is still in the development stages but check out this website (here) to see some examples of the things they can currently make.
Be sure to scroll down this page and watch how they print out a flashlight, lego car tires, and house of cheese… THAT RIGHT’S… a house of CHEESE!!! this is just almost too much awesomeness to comprehend… and YES!!! it’s edible. They also fabricate various other things such as a watch band, and stuff made of cake icing. mmmm….
On the popular mechanics website there is a short video clip describing the technology (watch it here) they explain the process and show how they made things like a working flashlight, circuit boards etc… You can print with any number of materials including acrylic or even chocolate~
For $2400, you can buy a Fab@home desktop fabricator that lets you build objects out of acrylic; the company hopes to produce units that can build with multiple materials in the future.
The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology predicts that personal nanofactories will be in operation by 2020. Jamais Cascio, founder of Open the Future and a director at CRN, says nanofactories will have a huge impact: “If it becomes cheaper and more efficient to have something printed out locally instead of made in China, it will have a big effect on things like trade balances, international labor, and…our national economy.”