While 3-D printing is indeed amazing, I find it alarming how misunderstood it is by a lot of people who have only heard about it and haven’t witnessed it. May people seem to envision 3D printers as cloning machines.
Over the holidays, I was in a room full of my in-laws who were under the impression that an intact, fully functional gun could be 3D printed in a matter of seconds. I tried to explain that that the technology was available to print all the individual components of a gun, but it would still need to be assembled like any other gun. The entire group ensured me that I was wrong because they had seen it on the internet.
In-law: I even saw someone print a car
Me: Yes, you can 3-D print all the parts of car and then assemble it, but you can’t just push a button and have the printer produce a fully assembled car ready to drive away
In-law: Yes, you can
Me: Does it 3-D print the gas? Or is it an electric car and it 3-D prints the battery into the engine?
In-law: I think you can do either