Weren't we supposed to have 3D printers everywhere by now?

Edward Scates

Over my dead body

A funeral parlour isn't the most obvious place for a 3D printer, but the Longhua funeral parlour in Shanghai offers a very unusual service: 3D printing of body parts for damaged or disfigured corpses.

As neurosurgeon Ralph Mobbs put it: "It was as if someone had switched on a light and said 'crikey, if this isn't the future, well then I don't know what is'."

The results are 90% accurate, which is impressive for something that simply involves recording sounds on a smartphone.

So for many items it's cheaper and easier to order a no-name Chinese knock-off on eBay than to pirate it.

The Liberator broken down

That makes it an offence to own any firearm that can't be spotted by a metal detector, and there were calls to make its provisions even tougher to outlaw 3D-printed weapons altogether, although so far 3D-printed guns made of metal are proof of concept rather than production reality.

But really affordable 3D printers are limited by two things: the 'golf ball' rule and the lack of color.

Edward Scates
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