Uformia collaborated with Lee Cronin and his team at the University of Glasglow to explore the possibilities of using a low-cost 3D printer, the Fab@Home, to build "reactionware": small vessels where chemical reactions can take place. Nature has just published the paper which outines this process.
"By making the vessel itself part of the reaction process, the distinction between the reactor and the reaction becomes very hazy. It's a new way for chemists to think, and it gives us very specific control over reactions because we can continually refine the design of our vessels as required."
In time, this could lead to DIY drugstores, where a 3D printer could be used to print medicine. Imagine that doctors and even individuals could download pre-set recipes or even use a specialized app to have access to a personal drug designer. Certainly there are concerns to be addressed in opening up the process of drug making in this way, but it is also possible that this could revolutionize the health care industry around the world.