We were skeptical, too. The trend of gadget manufacturers putting rockstars on the payroll in figurehead "creative director" roles has gotten a bit out of hand in recent years. Again, if Alicia Keys and BlackBerry taught us anything, it's that all the piano playing in the world can't help right the ship of a struggling hardware manufacturer. After chatting with will.i.am high atop the 3D Systems booth in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, we'll say this: he's a passionate guy. The Black Eyed Peas member's excitement is palpable as he speaks about emerging technologies and their potential roles in education and sustainability.

He freely admits that he's not really equipped to break down the technology behind the 3D printer company's more complex offerings, but he's got some grand visions with regards to the part he might play in helping making the technology more accessible and broadly appealing for a mainstream audience. Check out the full video interview just after the break.