It’s possible you’ve heard of a 3D printer – a printer that fabricates a concrete three-dimensional object from adding successive layers of material in, say, the shape of a tea pot or a bracelet. It can print an object with or without color, using polymer or plaster and can be bought online – if you’re feeling breezy about $6k (used) to $14k (new).
Sounds crazy, but it’s possible that an art school near you has one — many public universities have them available for use at some small fee under architecture, engineering or design programs.
Even more out of reach, yet deliciously excellent, there is the 3D Food Printer.
Cornell University’s Computational Synthesis Laboratory is using gels and liquids to make whatever they can think of (most of their images feature chocolate). Soon they will move on to more complex material – imagine eating a Thanksgiving dinner featuring a perfectly designed and formed turkey.
The program at Cornell, called Fab@Home, started experimenting with 3D Food Printing in 2007 as part of a Cornell University project to create custom objects at home with this kind of technology. Now, their system consists of syringes of different flavors that can be told, according to a blueprint or model, how to make the desired food object.
There are already entrepreneurs involved with the project that want to make the technology available for as little as $1,000, which seems unlikely considering the price of a regular 3D printer, but I suppose this would be the first step to printing your own furniture, food and decor.