'The Microfactory' goes beyond 3D printing

The desktop 3D printer is getting an upgrade.

One critique of the idea that there will soon be widespread adoption of 3D printing is that they have limited functionality. Even if they are getting relatively cheaper, what does someone need with something that only prints plastic items?

Maybe the critics are right. We won't all have 3D printers, we'll all have a desktop microfactory, like this one:

The company behind the "world's first machine shop in a box" is Mebotics. The company's Microfactory is essentially the size of an average desktop 3D printer but it's able to print and mill in the same machine and can print with two materials (wood, metal, or plastic) and four colors at the same time. Mebotics is planning on launching a Kickstarter campaign soon to fund the development of their factory-in-a-box.

Maybe it's not the product that brings 3D printers to every desktop, but it's definitely an impressive upgrade for non-industrial 3D printers.

[h/t New Scientist]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com