For a very long time, I have been one of the biggest critics of 3D printers. Far too often, I see them being used to make keychains or tchotchkes. As an engineering teaching, I really want to encourage the use of a 3D printer as a tool and not as a toy. What all that said, I think that 3D printers have come a long way. Prices have dropped considerably. You can find a decent 3D printer from Monoprice for less than $200.
One of the most exciting areas that I'm interested in seeing is more use of 3D printers in the biomedical fields. n article on All3DP recently discussed a new startup called Techshot that is working with NASA to 3D print organs in space.
Scientists have been able to successfully 3D print some organs here on Earth using a technique called Bioprinting, but the weight of some complex organ structures have caused them to collapse. They believe that 3D printing in space may solve this problem. If this is the case, then many people who are awaiting an organ donor may find themselves in luck with a newly 3D printed organ from space. The company is slated for testing on the International Space Station (ISS) starting in May.