Think of it this way: You're at home, you want something, you print it.
Today, that can be a chess set, some shoes, or a playable violin.
Powered by 3D design software, the technology allows complex objects to be created in a single piece, layer by layer, bypassing traditional steps of design and production.
But 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is moving well beyond making plastic objects, or even rapid industrial prototyping. "Today, 3D printers can not only handle materials ranging from titanium to human cartilage but also produce fully functional components, including complex mechanisms, batteries, transitions, and LEDs," according a 2014 McKinsey Quarterly report.