The 3-D revolution will blow you away

Story highlights

  • A company in China reportedly used 3-D printers to make 10 houses in a day
  • Sally Kohn: 3-D printers have potential to address problems like hunger, pollution
  • She says scientists are even experimenting with printing human tissues, organs
  • Kohn: Millions worldwide can benefit from 3-D printed houses or foods
A company in China reportedly used giant 3-D printers to make 10 houses in one day. This leads to two obvious questions.
First, how big were those printers? The answer is: 10 meters wide by 6.6 meters high. A mixture of cement and construction waste were sprayed to build the walls layer by layer.
And second, if 3-D printers could be used to create a neighborhood of full-sized, detached single family homes in less time and money than it would conventionally take, could 3-D printers help end homelessness?
I'm not Pollyanna-ish when it comes to ending poverty. Many of the world's problems stem from decades of government policies that fostered inequality and neglect, dynamics that cannot be easily fixed by one solution.
Sally Kohn
At the same time, I'm completely obsessed with 3-D printers, probably because I don't fully understand them, so they seem like magic sent to us from the future by Captain Picard. If these printers can make even a dent in some of the world's most pressing challenges, they would be even cooler in my book.
So, what major social and economic problems might we potentially print our way out of? Here are some possibilities.