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Ford Predicts 3D Printed Spare Parts

A recent Wall Street Journal article describes Ford and General Electric's experiments in 3D printed prototypes and production parts. While that's not new, we observed an interesting quote:
The auto maker sees a future where customers will be able to print their own replacement parts. Theoretically, a customer could log onto the Web, scan a bar code or print up an order, take it to a local 3-D printer, and have the part in hours or minutes.
We think this is possible, assuming local Staples or Kinko's offer 3D metal printing. Car owners could order parts in a manner similar to today, but behind the scenes Ford would print parts on demand instead of stocking and shipping parts. Faster and cheaper. 
Maybe they'll start with plastic parts. 

3D Printing: It's A Local Thing

How Many Things at Thingiverse? Lots!