The Economist, in a February 2011 leader
Even though engineers and designers have been using 3D printers for more than a decade, I'm still amazed by the possibilities. 3D printers have mostly been used to make prototypes quickly and cheaply before embarking on the expensive business of tooling up a factory to produce the real thing. As they have become more capable and able to work with a broader range of materials, including production-grade plastics and metals, the machines are increasingly being used to make final products too.
Here's how it works:
This could be a really good Christmas present...