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3D Printers in Space!

Hello, my name is Shay West and I’m a Star Trek enthusiast. I used to watch the old episodes with my dad and when the Next Generation made its appearance, I was excited as heck to dive in.

It was more than just the spaceships, space travel, alien life forms, and charismatic characters. There was something there that spoke to me, called to me, drew me in like a cat to catnip: the concept that humans could maybe overcome their  more base natures and actually get along.

Radical concept, I know, but just work with me here.

In the episode Time’s Arrow, Mark Twain ends up on the Enterprise and he’s speaking to Troi about how he sees things on board the ship. Troi sets him straight. The aliens on board aren’t slaves, there’s no money anymore so the idea that only rich people can join Star Fleet isn’t correct, poverty, war, sickness have pretty  much completely disappeared.

I’m sure there’s a lot of things that led to this change in our lifestyles, but one of the most important ones I see if the replicator. Rather than having to spend money to buy the things we need, we can replicate them using waste products. It takes waste apart atom by atom and rebuild something else using those same atoms. I mean, a carbon is a carbon, am I right?

Rather than slaving away trying to earn money to buy stuff in an endless cycle, people can simply replicate what they need and want. Want the latest cell phone? Toss in your old one and replicate a new one! Want a hot new sports car? Replicate it!

In Star Trek’s vision of future human kind, once people were no longer starving or fighting over petty crap, they were free to pursue other things, leading to amazing technology and discoveries.

That’s the kind of humanity I envision. The best and brightest minds able to focus on something other than fighting for basic survival needs and finding cures for pretty much everything that ails us, taking us to new heights (literally!) by building ships that can take us out of our galaxy to explore other words. *happy sigh*

While we’re probably a  looooong way off from this dream, there are brilliant minds here on Earth pushing the envelope and taking us to new heights! Like an astronaut being able to use a 3D printer to replicate a needed tool.

3d printing space_1

Mind. Blown.

Oh yeah, it totally happened! Send the 3D printer instructions through the friggin email and WHAM! New wrench.

Kudos to NANA and Made in Space for the awesome 3D printer capable of working on zero Gs 😀

If I had a 3D printer replicator, I’d totally make myself a sonic screwdriver. Perhaps a life-sized TARDIS. And the castle I’ve always wanted. Then I’d replicate some wine and maybe some food for the cats and hang out on my new turret…

What about you? What would  you make with a replicator?

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9 Comments on “3D Printers in Space!”

  1. The Story Reading Ape December 22, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    All Shay wants for Christmas is a…..REPLICATOR?
    Now THAT would be an AWESOME present for many reasons 😀

  2. jeffurry76 December 22, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    I’d replicate a bunch of giant legos and build a giant castle. 🙂

    • drshaywest December 22, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      I love it!!!!! 😀

      • jeffurry76 December 22, 2014 at 9:11 am #

        I was driving people nuts with my plans after I watched the documentary on 3D printers a month or so ago. lol It had my nerdy senses tingling. 🙂

        • drshaywest December 22, 2014 at 9:14 am #

          Three’s just so much potential!!!

  3. jsackmom December 22, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    I love this I can sense the joy you have as a Trekkie fan. I too grew up watching the original with my Mom, and the Next Generation took me to places I’d never dream of going! I felt akin to Deanna Troi with her empathic abilities. She made me feel less weird in my world. If I had a replicator in space I would replicate the wine, a five course meal, and an iPod complete with all the classics, like the Beatles Anthology. Then I would sit back and enjoy the beauty of space while enjoying some Pinot Grigio with a delicious linguine and clam sauce. I’d have to replicate a companion as well, so I’d replicate my husband as this would be the only way we’d get a date night. 😉

    • drshaywest December 22, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

      Ooooo, I love it! Sounds like a perfect date night!

      • jsackmom December 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

        Thank you Dr. Shay I will have to replicate soon. 😉

  4. Shanna Lauffey December 23, 2014 at 5:17 am #

    We definitely need replicators. The whole Christmas shopping madness could be a part of the past! Envisioning better futures has always been part of what science fiction is about, which is why I’ve been a scifi geek all my life and started writing about time travel. We need to implement this idea!

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