NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When 3-D enabler Shapeways debuted its first factory in New York last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ribbon with a pair of scissors freshly printed on a 3-D printer (shown in this instagram photo posted by the mayor's office).
It's truly amazing to peek into the future-- and the present -- of the printing industry. Already, consumers can design objects using 3-D software and then upload the files at Web sites like Shapeways, Ponoko and Cubify. The sites then print out designs and ship them to you. Or you can just go buy a sub-$2,000 3-D printer yourself and watch the magic as a machine melts the plastic "ink" and creates the object layer by layer.
And while you're getting used to that idea, there are already a number of 3-D printing prototypes and realities that were unfathomable just a few years ago. Here's a look at some of the amazing objects that can be printed with a 3-D printer.
Tissue: No, not the kind you blow your nose in but human tissue that could save your life. San Diego's Organovo (ONVO) is making news with its NovoGen MMX Bioprinter, shown at www.organovo.com, a special 3-D printer that prints functional, living human tissue layer by layer. It uses a person's own cells to produce veins or a heart patches so there is less chance of rejection.>>Also see: Investing in 3-D Printing
|NovoGen MMX Bioprinter|
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