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Natasha Mann
About Natasha Mann

Natasha has a Masters from UNSW in Literature which, simply put, means she likes to read and ponder. She uses a pseudonym because we all do it: when avataring into the un-pc gaming character, when joining an online dating site, when giving editorial criticism or when robbing a bank. But she mainly uses it so as not to embarrass anyone when it's her turn to do volunteer school tuck-shop duty. She likes to write about sex. She hopes you like to read and ponder too.

Remember the replicator in Star Trek?

It was that box in the wall where anyone could go up and ask for whatever beverage or meal and it would appear out of thin air.

Like a 3D sculpture made from a 3D printer.

Forget the Star Trek food, we now have arsenal created from thin air. Here’s a little look at what has been printed this year so far…

A guy in Japan was nabbed last week for printing 3D guns. Real guns. Americans who read the news beyond their own country will be stoked at this news. I’m sure if they are allowed a gun in their back pocket, then a 3D printer that churns them out on the kitchen counter is like a pfft in the legal rear end.

A Chinese dude has built a bunch of houses. With the price of any land in Sydney and water all around, I hope he goes the next step and builds me a houseboat to live on.


Image: Wikipedia

A group of surgeons have printed a 3D baby’s heart. A frigging heart. How more “Brave New World-slash-Never Let Me Go” is that? Sure, they are currently only using the heart as a model to study the real thing before delving into life-threatening surgery but I have no doubt that before long transplants will be on the books with organs that have been printed using real tissue molecules.

A chick Grace Choi, who has the awesome same name as a DC Comic character, has decided to print out her make-up repertoire. That is, the lipstick and eye-shadow she usually pays a motza for at DJs or the like. That is, you pick your colours from wherever you want, print them up and use them. You may think, “Yeah, big deal” and, again, just another way of saving money to siphon off elsewhere. But, add into this that there are a hell of a lot of cosmetics that don’t have the “not tested on animals” sticker and it adds another dimension (boom boom) to the scenario. I am much more satisfied to test on my animal self -let’s save the bunnies.

So, when I was drifting through Officeworks last week and saw their 3D printer churning out florescent orange chess pieces I wasn’t really that impressed. It seemed a waste of time – like a gadget for someone who wanted to create more unnecessary plastic in order to pander to some long lost I-have-the-power-to-create ego.

My view has now changed. Not that I want to buy a printer but I have come to realise that 3D printing is actually a game changer.

I wonder if Officeworks was deliberately acting on the symbolism?

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