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May 8 2013

What, Exactly, Is a 3-D Printer?


You can make anything from a pistol to a doll to an airplane wing. Here's how it works.

This week a 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas named Cody Wilson made international headlines when he used a 3-D printer to "print out" a functional .38 caliber pistol.

He then put design software online so that—in theory, at least—anyone in the world who downloaded the software and had access to a commercial 3-D printer and $60 worth of plastic could make their own handgun.

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