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From a blog post about Space-X...
#1
From Lots In Space <http://lotsinspace.blogspot.com/>, an interesting mention of Space-X's use of 3D printing:

"And, of course, SpaceX's in-house 3D printer. It was the first time I'd ever been near one. Since then, the company has added tech that allows engineers to use hand gestures to design in 3D, and then immediately print the pieces in materials of their choice.

"A few 3D-printed pieces of titanium were on display. Most looked impressively intricate with impossibly tiny detail. The piece that drove home for me what I really was looking at, the true power inherent in this tech, came in the form of an innocuous-looking cylinder about 5 inches long and 3 inches in diameter. "What's this?", I asked, as it looked like an unremarkable piece of metal. "Hold it up to the light and look through the cylinder length-wise." I did. That was the third or fourth time I picked my jaw off the floor that day. I had lost count. The cylinder appeared semi-permeable: it had hundreds, maybe thousands of tiny shafts running the length of it, evenly spaced, fractions of a millimeter in diameter. Almost impossible to see with the naked eye until you hold the piece up to the light. I will never forget that moment when I realized what I was holding - a piece so finely machined that no machine could actually have done the job, except a 3D printer."
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