3D Printing Could Save The Environment, Or Possibly Destroy It

Joseph Marks | Nextgov | December 17, 2013

Imagine the world of 3D printing fully realized.

There’s no need to run to the store because you lost your travel mug. Just download the design, print one out and grab your coffee to go.

The repair shop won’t have to back order a part when your lawnmower breaks down. They can print one out in the back.

Because products are produced to order rather than coming off an assembly line, it will be easier to print customized versions of things such as hearing aids and retainers that fit perfectly (and last longer as a result).

And when astronauts aboard the the International Space Station needs a part replaced, they won’t need to be resupplied from Earth. They’ll be able to produce the part using a specialized zero gravity printer and make the repair themselves.