Ebongeek has covered 3d printing advances before but the Objet 260 Connex Multilateral 3D Printer represents a whole new level of 3D printing capability. While most 3D printer designs can only handle one material, this unit can handle up to 51 different materials in total. According to the manufacturer; ” the Objet 260 Connex enables users to select as many as up to 51 composite, Digital Materials, simulating anything from rubber to transparency to rigid ABS-grade engineering plastics. It encourages designers and engineers to explore and innovate and helps them to come to the right choices based on the best representation of their intended end-product.” Source: Connex. This technology can produce real functional prototypes of finished products such as complex gear mechanisms and machines, however some would argue that this form of rapid prototyping is ready to actually produce finished products. This possibility is what makes 3D printing technology so exciting, with more material choices and ever higher print resolutions you could print almost anything you needed. Such a development would turn the entire notion of consumer culture on its head and could usher in a new era of mass customization.