AI: Holodeck Hijinx

So we have a 3d printer. It’s pretty awesome.

It got me thinking, if I had the ultimate 3d printer, what would I make?

If you had the ability to create anything with perfect fidelity, what would you want to create? The ART Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Mad Art Lab community. Look for it to appear Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3pm ET.

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Ryan Consell is a skeptical artist, tap-dancing armorer, juggling scientist, rock-climbing writer, sword-fighting math teacher, uni-cycling gamer, fire-spinning academic and devout nerd. He has a Masters in Applied science, most of a bachelors in Fine Arts, and a very short attention span. He is the author of How Not to Poach a Unicorn and half of the masochistic comedy duo that is Creative Dissonance. Follow him on Twitter @StudentofWhim


  1. November 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    David Brin wrote a novel called Kiln People ( in which people routinely make disposable copies of themselves to take care of unpleasant, dangerous or tedious tasks. Something like that might be handy, especially when you’re overbooked.

  2. November 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    There was a Dr. Who episode based on the same concept.

  3. November 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Well, I like the idea of having a few copies of me, so one could work, one could kick up trouble at Mad Art Lab, and one could wear marabou slippers and eat bon-bons.

    But if that’s not possible, I’d settle for just the bon-bons … and a new pair of my favorite combat boots every time I wear out a pair.

  4. November 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Well if we can create living things, number one would be some black rhinos. (Seriously, think about the implications for conservation.)

  5. November 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Diamonds. And wine. And Skepchick island.

  6. November 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I’m looking for something a bit less ambitious than the other commenters. I’ll be happy when 3D printers can fabricate tensegrity structures. This is challenging, because current printers can’t create anything with tensile elements. I was discussing this a bit in a comment on the MIT news report at .

  7. November 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Cheese-dispensing skyscraper robot.

  8. November 15, 2011 at 8:47 am

    A guitar that has a through neck, stacked humbuckers wired so all possible combinations of pickup can be used both in series and parallel and both in and out of phase, built in tuner with a display along the edge of the neck, scalloped fret board with fanned frets, locking tuning pegs, Hipshot Trilogy-esque bridge where the mechanism is buried in the body rather than up top, front strap peg at the neck/body join, rear peg half way between the mid line and the upper edge, volume pot compensated so that it’s truly linear in response, stupid tone pots replaced with a parametric EQ, All wrapped up in a shape that’s as close to a pre-CBS seafoam green Strat as is possible for such a frankenplank to be.

    What’s that? No, I’ve never given this question much thought. Why do you ask?

  9. November 22, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Annnnnd, having thought about this for a week now I’ve realised that there’s something that I’d like made more than the above mentioned guitar. Something that I should have thought of much sooner, a fact that says very poor things about my self-centredness.

    A couple of months ago we left my 4 year old daughter’s favourite blankie in the bed of a hotel room. The hotel were completely uninterested in looking for it and their laundry service never found it. This, as you might imagine, cause a great deal of tears over several days.

    Now, three months later, every night before we have bedtime stories Em gets her toy mobile phone and calls Blankie. Sometimes she tell it about her day and sometimes she’ll just “…put you on speaker-phone, so you can hear the st…. I’m not telling.” To which Blankie has to respond “Okay, I’ll just listen in case there’s a story.”

    This little ritual breaks my heart every night. I would give great gobs of cash and put in no little effort to have an exact replica of that stained, faded, tattered, pink blanket with its tacky love heart pattern. The joy its return would bring my daughter would be wondrous to behold over and above the easing of my guilt for its loss in the first place.

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