One of the enduring images from Star Trek is the use of Food Synthesizers and Replicators.
In the past decade the use of 3D printers and other additive manufacturing technologies has grown by leaps and bounds. They work by taking a special 3D model building a real object layer by layer by depositing plastic, metal, and other materials. There is a final step where you have to trim off any support structure as well as polish or smooth.
These printers are expensive although there are some hobbyists models out there. But now thanks to Shapeways the technology takes a closer step to be usable by the rest of us.
From what I understand is that you upload a model created with their software or specs. Select the material and they give you a quote. If they approve then you will have the object in a couple of weeks. Obviously some skill is required in creating the models but still it a great advance in access to this technology.
There appears two applications of this. Custom Dice, and custom miniatures. Both are expensive but not out of reach for a one time purchase.
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