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Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

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Chapter 1

Everything is becoming science fiction

Place: Your life

Time: A few decades from now

. . . even in the future, it’s still hard to get up in the morning.

The smell of freshly baked whole wheat blueberry muffins wafts from the kitchen food printer. The cartridges to make these organic, low-sugar muffins were marketed as a luxury series. The recipes were downloaded from different featured artisan bakers from famous restaurants and resorts.

The first time you showed the food printer to your grandfather, he thought it was an automated bread machine—an appliance from the 1980s that took foodie kitchens by storm. He couldn’t understand why you wanted to print processed food until his anniversary came. To celebrate, you splurged on deluxe food cartridges and printed him and your grandmother a celebratory dinner of fresh tuna steaks, couscous and a wildly swirled chocolate-mocha-raspberry cream cake with a different picture within every slice.

Managing your diabetes has gotten easier since the health insurance company upgraded your food printer to a high-grade medical model. New medical-grade food printers for diabetics read streams of wireless signals from a tiny skin implant that tracks your blood sugar. When you wake up in the morning, the FoodFabber receives the first reading of the morning and adapts the sugar content and nutritional balance of your digitally cooked breakfast accordingly.

After breakfast, it’s time to check the news. The top story is an update on a rescue ...

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