Do any of you have the new "Home size" 3D printers? These things are fantastic and allow anyone to manufacture do-hickies and more within minutes and at the touch of a button. Doctors are using them to make customized body parts. Scientists are planning on using them in space launches so that the astronauts can make hot fresh food on their extended flights. I really want one but the best price I've seen so far is about $1,300.00 and I can't afford that.
I don't have one michael, and at those prices I never will. :-(
I have several friends in the Hobby field who own these. They are wonderful for creating odd parts and custom pieces. The process is still in it's infancy but shows much promise for the future. The major drawback is doing the CAD drawings to allow the printer to create the part. Auto-CAD brand software is very expensive to purchase [$5,000.00+] and the learning curve is horrendous. As with all things the low end entry level printers like the $1,300 ones make crude parts. To do detail work the $4 to $7,000.00 units are the way to go. With prices like that a person would need to be running a business to make it economically feasible.
For food? I don't see how you can make food with plastic in a printer.
As for criminal elements? Who Cares. Crooks will always find ways to use everything. We cannot ban everything just because one or two crazies use it wrong.
Hey scooter, thanks for the response. The way they make food using it is to substitute powdered food for the powdered plastic. Apparently it works like a charm but this is NASA so they no doubt have the top of the line equipment which they will have to alter to fit into a small space capsule. But if it works, you can bet that it will be offered on the open market for people to use at home. Can you imagine going in to your kitchen, pushing a button, and an hour later have a fresh, tasty, hot pizza. Sounds fantastic to me.
Robbie the Robot could do that in the fifties.