7 insane things a 3D printer can let you fabricate

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by Jimmy Nicholls| 12 May 2014

From Minecraft models to body parts and many things in between.

Last week Yoshitomo Imura, 27, was arrested in Japan for printing out five 3D guns, two of which were functional. It's not the first time scare stories have emerged about the potential capabilities of 3D printing, and in this piece we take you through some of the wackier suggestions for the budding technology.

1) Body parts

3D printing could create a new range of artifical body parts.

Even as one part of humanity is making weapons, another is trying its utmost to create body parts, and without resorting to human farming. So far scientists have printed ears, kidneys and bones, and although organ functionality is a work-in-progress, it's likely printing will be making major contributions to medicine over the next few decades.

2) Food

I suppose technically we could have reused the pig organs, but we thought you'd prefer printable pizza.

Printed food may not sound appetising, but this logical extension to food processing has some key advantages. Home cooks creating ornate chocolate designs will find Choc Edge's printer expands their culinary capacity, even if the £2,900 price is rather expensive. NASA has also been looking into pizza printers for its hungry astronauts, and other printers dedicated to pasta, corn and candy hint at the possibilities for food fabrication.

3) Computer circuits

Circuits. Less tasty than pizza, but probably more useful.

With the rise of Raspberry Pi we have seen increasingly advanced forays into serious DIY electronics, and Dimatix Fujifilm's printers have continued down an obvious path, allowing you to design and print customised circuits and electronics.

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