Hod Lipson, a Cornell engineering professor and one of the nation’s top 3-D printing experts helped A. J. Jacobs plan and execute a 3D printed-only dinner date, for a project for the NYTimes.com:
THE hype over 3-D printing intensifies by the day. Will it save the world? Will it bring on the apocalypse, with millions manufacturing their own AK-47s? Or is it all an absurd hubbub about a machine that spits out chintzy plastic trinkets? I decided to investigate.
…I settled on the idea of creating a 3-D-printed meal. I’d make 3-D-printed plates, forks, place mats, napkin rings, candlesticks — and, of course, 3-D-printed food. Yes, cuisine can be 3-D printed, too. And, in fact, Mr. Lipson thinks food might be this technology’s killer app. (More on that later.)
I wanted to serve the meal to my wife as the ultimate high-tech romantic dinner date. A friend suggested that, to finish the evening off, we hire a Manhattan-based company that scans and makes 3-D replicas of your private parts. That’s where I drew the line.
As it turned out, the dinner was perhaps the most labor-intensive meal in history. But it did give me a taste of the future, in both its utopian and dystopian aspects….
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