Do you believe this?
Look very carefully at the handle end of the real wrench, the handle end of the computer simulation, and the handle end of the printed wrench.
3D printer technology does exist and is getting more and more sophisticated (e.g. reprap) but this show is just sheer dramatisation.
I did not see anything in that clip that is impossible to make using 3D printing, although it has been dramatised (I would probably take longer to scan the wrench, identify the moving parts etc) for effect.
The workshop at the institure where I work sometimes uses a subcontractor for 3D printing, and I have collegues who frequently use this to for example prototype complicated parts for vacuum chambers before making the real parts. And yes, I have seen samples with moving parts.
However, the technology is expensive (the printed wrench would be MUCH more expensive than a SS one, the company we use would charge a few hundred pounds for something like that); and the parts are not THAT strong although the strength depends on the compound used (but none of the parts I've seen could substitute the real ones).
Edit: One common application for 3D printing is to make moulds for casting, the the cast objects are of course just as strong as objects that have been made using more conventional methods.
I don't understand why so many of these threads have popped up recently. They all ask essentially the same question, and point to the same YouTube video.
Actually, looking at what I just wrote, I'm thinking it may be a version of viral marketing.
In answer of the OP:
Yes, its real, although the video (advertisement, actually) oversimplifies the process. There are a number of methods that fall under the heading of "3D printing". Stereolithography, Fused Deposition Modeling, Direct Metal Laser Sintering, and more.
As usual, plenty of info on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing" [Broken], with links to university studies, manufacturers, etc.
We actually have one of these in our school. It is awesome! :)
I don't even think you need to look carefully lol it is painfully obvious.
The first time I heard about this sort of thing was for the replication of parts on space shuttles traveling to mars, etc....I think it was on the History channel.
Pffffft the entire thing is Photoshopped...
Separate names with a comma.