Sure, 3D printing is such a tech industry buzzword that you'd have to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to escape news of its impending onslaught. But there's good reason for all the fanfare: 3D printing is poised to upend current manufacturing standards by making industrial fabrication methods democratic. Imagine: Any object you want or need can be (somewhat) instantly "printed" at home. Let that sink in for a bit.
The kicker is -- that future is already here, albeit in a minor form, and it's rapidly evolving to be not only affordable, but also practical for everyone and every industry. Need proof? Then check out the gallery below.
A field guide to the 3D-printed world
[Image credit: Associated Press]