Printing in 3D might not be a new technology, but we just saw this amazing video of how Trek has put it to use in their prototype and R&D facitilities to cut the turnaround time for new parts from weeks to just hours.
For example, the backlog on their CNC facility is running 28 days, but the designers in this video can build a prototype rocker arm in just a few hours. The machines are even capable of building objects with moving parts and from two different materials, as you can see in the second video.
The machine works by laying down a very, very thin layer of material – similar to ABS plastic – on each pass. Parts such as bar-ends or grips can be ridden on the trail the very same day.
Pretty amazing stuff.