It may sounds like science fiction, but the printer you buy in the future could be able to produce a real-life object from images on your computer.
Several companies are working on developing low-cost three-dimensional printers which could eventually find their way into the home. The machines work by placing layers of a powdery material on top of each other to create a real-life model of a digital image. "With hundreds and sometimes thousands of layers, we can develop a prototype that works, from coffee cups to car parts, in a variety of textures and colours," said Andy DeHart of the Z Corporation which makes 3D printers.
The Boston-based company was showing off its technology at the recent computer graphics Siggraph exhibition in the US. "We can import data from any digital source," Mr DeHart told the BBC programme Go Digital. "The data is brought into our print driver and then manipulated and exported to the 3D printer." The Z Corporation machines use a technology to bind the powder first invented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
News source: BBC News