So I know that Professor Arturo used this topic as an example in class for a post but I found this video on YouTube (uploaded by life4nothing, originally aired on the National Geographic Channel) and couldn't resist. In the video they explain a little bit of the science behind the Z Corporation's 3D printing system. I'm assuming that the system shown in this video is way more advanced than any printer Park would have let Professor Arturo purchase. Honestly, even though what this system can do is pretty amazing I'm generally impressed that any kind of 3D printing exists.
This particular printer combines a powder with a binding agent during the printing process to create a solid object. As Professor Arturo mentioned in class this machine like other 3D printers can even build objects with fully functioning moving parts. What's even crazier is that the material used, whatever it is (they don't disclose specifics in the video, probably for patent purposes), is strong enough that you can actually use the product you print. For example, in this video they print a replica of a socket wrench. At the end of the clip they test the strength of the wrench by using it to tighten a socket and it actually works! Maybe I'm just easily impressed but I have a feeling it'd be pretty hard to say you didn't think that's amazing. The guys in the video make a good point; it's almost as if 3D printing has brought science fiction to life right in front of our eyes. Just think what else we could use this for.