CT  CT biz-0410-digital-manufacuring MJWFrom Chicago Tribune: The machine, no larger than a coffee maker and encased in black like Darth Vader’s helmet, hums at a whisper. Swinging open the shell’s door reveals a slim metal nozzle moving smoothly over a platform, putting down melted black filament in thin layers that form a set of simple chess pieces. The plastic figures might not look like much, but to Zach Kaplan, the 3-D printing technology creating them represents the early promise of digital manufacturing, powered by desktop machines, user-friendly design software and creative people tinkering away in basements and garages.

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