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This satellite sensor was produced by printing electrical circuits using metal inks.
Printing sensors directly into a satellite's structure saves a lot of room, according to the team that made the sensor from the University of Texas.
The technique may one day provide a reliable way to print out electronic gadets, by printing out circuits inside their casing, said Ryan Wicker, mechanical engineering professor at the university.
The sensor is being sent into orbit for testing in the harsh environment of space, where satellites are subjected to extremes of temperature and heavy doses of solar radiation.
One of the more contentious uses of 3D printers is to produce weaponry.
This is a gun that was printed out by a Finnish journalist, who downloaded a design freely available on the internet, printed out the pistol, dubbed the 'Liberator', and fired it.
The bullet fired straight down the range but the gun broke into four pieces.
Debate is currently taking place over how to best regulate people's ability to produce weapons using 3D printers.
After South African carpenter Richard Van As lost his fingers in an accident he decided to create a low-cost prosthetic hand for people without fingers.
Dubbed Robohand, the hand was designed by Richard working with a designer based on the other side of the world in Seattle.
The hand is printed out of PLA plastic resin using a MakerBot machine and combined with cables and screws to make the finished prosthesis. It is designed to be worn on the hand and to grasp its fingers the user folds their wrist. The design for the hand is freely available online, allowing anyone with a 3D printer and a few additional parts to build their own version.