The rise of 3D printing over the past couple years has lead to many different creative ways of creation. For example, cheap 3D printed houses are already being conceptualized. But the ultimate dream is that one day, we would be able to make everything from anything.
That doesn’t make any sense, but it’s actually quite interesting. Everything on Earth is made of the same atomic elements, simply rearranged differently on a molecular level. Now imagine a printer can assemble atoms in any arrangement. It would mean that it would be able to make anything, given the right raw materials. It would tear apart the molecules of these raw materials, and use them instead to layer them to make ANYTHING. Food, books, computers, clothes, you name it.
This kind of printer, or nanofabricator, may seem like complete fiction now. We see it all the time in sci-fi movies, or shows like Futurama. But in fact, it may not even be that far from now until this machine is built. James Burke, a science historian, made an ambitious guess that the nanofabricator would redefine the world as early as 2042. Though that may seem a long time away, there has been significant progress in nanoprinting. We would all love to have this kind of technology in our daily lives; imagine how our lives would change because of it.