12. Or you can buy a printer to make your printer. The RepRap Mendel 3-D printer can build about 50 percent of itself and counting. Can anyone say The Matrix
13. If this is starting to freak your mind, you’re in good company. President Barack Obama devoted some of his 2013 State of the Union address to the technology, saying it has “the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.”
14. Perhaps Obama got inspired after the White House viewing of the James Bond movie Skyfall. The Aston Martin DB5 that Bond appeared to drive was one of three models created using a 3-D printer.
15. Those DB5s were models. The URBEE isn’t: This hybrid car in development by Kor Ecologic aims to reach over 200 mpg on the highway. The car’s entire interior and exterior will be made with a 3-D printer.
16. First a car, then a house. Researchers at MIT have developed a 3-D material modeled after bone — denser on the outside than the inside, and seriously strong. It could be the next big thing in framing buildings.
17. The very small has its appeal, too. Northwestern University researchers are using low-cost desktop printers in nanofabrication. Several pint-size projects are in development, including gene chips, protein arrays, stem cell controls and electronic circuits.
18. There’s also cause for old-school audiophiles to party hard. An engineer at the project-sharing site Instructables has figured out how to convert digital music files into vinyl-like LPs.
19. Old wax must also be on the minds of artists at Madame Tussauds. It takes up to six months for a team of artists to create one of the wax figures. Yet a solo American 3-D designer, Dan Roarty, recently created a lifelike, printable 3-D model based on his belated grandmother in a third of the time.
20. If you’d like to extend the believe-it-or-not family portrait theme, you can order a 3-D model of your unborn baby. Several new fetal Fotomats specialize in turning sonograms into sculptures, lending new meaning to the term “prenatal development.”