Review by Rachel Ehrenberg
The first chapter of Fabricated is set a few decades in the future: In your kitchen a 3-D printer outfitted with food cartridges cooks up breakfast, while across the street a giant printing nozzle oozes out the concrete foundation of a new home. At work, you’re investigating the bioprinting black market, wherein counterfeiters sell sloppily printed organs for transplants. The scenario seems farfetched, but Lipson and Kurman make a compelling case that some version of it is not far off.
3-D printing, which creates objects by depositing or binding successive layers of material such as metal or plastic, is poised to shake up everything from manufacturing to medicine (see page 20). Lipson, an engineer at Cornell University, and technology analyst Kurman explore how these machines are already wending their way into many facets of society, including food, fashion and education.