3D printer

3d-printer

1984

And so we come to the last of our 50 inventions and, in some respects, we have come full circle, as we end with an invention that is arguably the closest thing we currently have to a machine that can create more machines! And that is the 3D printer, a device born in the mid-Eighties that — fed with CAD designs — can build objects, sculptures, gears, component parts, organs, artificial limbs, toys and much more through an ingenious layering of liquid plastics. The complexity of some of the things modern 3D printers are capable of making is truly astounding and, with work already underway to upscale both their commercial availability and their potential applications — such as a project to make a printer capable of printing entire houses — this particular invention has a very bright future ahead of it.