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SPACE ODYSSEY: THE RISE OF 3-D TECHNOLOGY

Albrecht Dürer, The Draughtsman of the Lute, n.d., woodcut on paper, sheet size 5 1/8 × 7 1/4".

TODAY, IT IS almost a cliché to describe the rise of 3-D printing as a groundbreaking development. The notion that the technique represents a decisive turning point in the history of technology has gained widespread acceptance, with oh-so-grand pronouncements of its power coming from the likes of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, even Martha Stewart. And as the technology has become increasingly accessible and widely adopted in the intervening years, the vision of a 3-D-printed world seems less like science fiction than like a rapidly approaching reality. Indeed, “Mutations-Créations / Imprimer le monde” (Mutations-Creations / Print the World), a major exhibition opening at the Centre Pompidou in Paris this month, offers just such a proposition, showcasing 3-D-printed products that are purportedly transforming a wide range of fields. Meanwhile, efforts are under way to adapt the technology

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