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Technology and Society

New inventions can have positive and negative influences on society.

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Pizza Printer

Pizza Printer

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

You’re feeling hungry, and a pizza sounds good. So you sit down at your desk, warm up your computer, and turn on your printer. Within minutes, a delicious pizza pops out of the printer!

Amazing but True!

  • It sounds like science fiction, but printers that can create 3D objects already exist. It’s just a matter of time before a 3D printer will be able to print out pizzas or other food items of your choice.
  • Why would you want to be able to print out a pizza? Imagine being an astronaut on Mars and getting a craving for pizza. You couldn’t call your corner pizza shop and order a pizza to go. But if you had a 3D printer that could print out a pizza, you’d have it made.
  • NASA is actually investing money in the development of a printer that can print pizzas, among other kinds of foods. You can learn more about it by watching the video and reading the short article at this link: http://www.space.com/21250-nasa-3d-food-printer-pizza.html

What Do You Think?

With the links below, learn more about 3D printers and some of the items they have already been used to create. Then answer the following questions.

  1. How is the process of making an object with a 3D printer a little like making a loaf of sliced bread in reverse?
  2. Describe how a 3D printer would create a pizza.
  3. What are some items that have already been made with 3D printers?
  4. What are some of the current constraints on 3D printing technology?
  5. In another generation, we may be printing out most of the products we need on in-home 3D printers. What environmental problems might this help to solve?
  6. Developers of 3D printers think they might one day help to solve the problem of world hunger. What do you think?

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  1. [1]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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