June 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM ET
At some point in the not-too-distant future, we’ll all use 3-D printers to make new tools, replacement body parts and dinner. In the meantime, early adopters are already giving the technology a try with downloadable blueprints for characters such as Yoda, that wise Jedi master of "Star Wars" fame.
The time-lapse demonstration is courtesy of YouTube user BusyBotz, who uses a commercial MakerBot Replicator 3-D printer which costs about $1,750. The 3-D model for Yoda is available from Thingiverse, a MakerBot-powered website where users share their digital designs.
The website aims to get people to share designs to feed into their 3-D printers, spreading the adoption of the technology, which MakerBot hopes will be widespread so they can sell more printers.
BusyBotz’s demonstration with Yoda showcases the fine detail available when the printer is set to build in 0.1 mm -high layer increments — that is, Yoda is built up one 0.1 mm layer at a time.
All things built with the 3-D printers are built layer upon layer.
"There is a significant increase in detail compared to printing the same model at 0.2 mm," BusyBotz notes. “It takes longer, but in a print like this, it is worth it.”
For those who view the full video below and think they might want to give one of these nifty printers a try themselves, just remember this sage advice Yoda gives a young Luke Skywalker:
“Try not, do or do not, there is no try.”
— Via Daily Mail
John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. To learn more about him, check out his website and follow him on Twitter. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.