3D printing 2.0, courtesy of MIT

Leave it to the brains at MIT to take a technology in its infancy and advance it ahead a few steps. That’s what they’ve done with their new 3D printing technique.

How do you fit a 50-foot-long (15 metres) chain into a 5-inch (12 centimetres) box? It sounds like a brainteaser you might get while interviewing at Google, but for Skylar Tibbits and Marcelo Coelho it was a practical challenge that led them to reexamine some common assumptions about 3-D printer technology. The conventional wisdom is that to print large, furniture-sized parts, we’ll need ever-larger printers, but the pair of MIT educated researchers have developed an ingenious software tool that enables humble desktop 3-D printers to create objects the size of desks.

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