When 3D printing a particularly complex object, you often need to incorporate additional support structures into its design, given how the layer by layer additive process works. And with 3D systems new water soluble filament, those unwanted support structures can easily be dissolved away with a little H2O.
Makerbot—perhaps the most consumer-friendly of 3D printer manufacturers—is about to go a long way toward turning the tech into something consumers can actually use. Starting late this year, MakerBot is going to let you 3D print with a range of new materials, including composites of limestone, iron, and wood.
If you've dabbled in Christmas decorations with traditional Christmas lights, you'll know that when one bulb blows, the entire line goes out with it. Why is that? Because of how the manufacturers wire them.