We Can 3D You: a short story by: GF Willmetts.

I never understood the intricacies of the new tech. Now my husband, the total geek, just lapped it up and wanted to try everything out. Take the new 3D printer. This generation could print organic matter. Doing it layer by layer meant that complex organics wouldn’t be in computer memory for long and if you were prepared to sit in the machine for a day, you could apply modifications to yourself. Most popular was replacing teeth. Having done it to himself, my husband made his money back by doing the same for a few of his friends but I could see his boredom threshold. Mostly because while it was doing someone’s teeth he couldn’t use if for anything else.

The next craze was penile enlargement. This meant a bit of disassembly before the re-build. Not for the faint-hearted and I had to wonder which man was the first to try it out. Someone with a big ego I expect. Meet the man with the second biggest ego. My husband. It took all my convincing that only an inch would be enough.

We Can 3D You: a short story by: GF Willmetts.
We Can 3D You: a short story by: GF Willmetts.

Breast enlargement came next. That one I did read up on, just so I would have some answers so I could say no. Apparently, fatty tissue was one of the easiest things to do. All one sort of tissue. Well, not quite. There still had to be blood vessels and skin but a lot less simple than nerve tissue. Sounded too much like Stepford Wives to me but I kept a watchful eye as he did some enhancing on his mates’ more willing wives.

There was a lot of other things the new 3D printer do. Restore fallopian tubes. Even the snip for men. Neither of which applied to us but the advances were extraordinary even to a non-geek like me. But his 3D printer was beginning to show its age, so he decided to get another one. The money he made from rebuilding his mates would get him the latest model. The most revolutionary yet. Not just minor body parts but the full works. A little processing and new bone lengths and muscles to support them. You could literally rebuild yourself.

It was never sold that way. It was originally a medical tool for amputees. Lost an arm or a leg. No need for prosthetics any more. A few hours in a 3D printer and nearly as good as new. It wasn’t quite like the original, the design was pretty generic but little things like proper fingerprints could be included. No doubt future models and keeping a copy of a 3D scan would ensure exact copies.

Even so, this version could do a lot more complex things. It could reprocess the entire body around the nervous system. It wasn’t to be used on brain tissue because that was still too complicated. My hubby saw it as a means to get rid of his beer gut and tone up his muscles but he couldn’t do it alone. I would have to look in occasionally and make sure the fluid drums didn’t clog but that was just nervous talk.

I told him not to rush at such things. Let someone else go first. He showed me the computer blueprint download and said it had been done abroad and wasn’t going to be the first. I gave him a kiss on his old cheek and said I would see him in a couple days. Then I went off to watch films for the weekend but I came down with the flu and hadn’t the energy to check until the Monday.

It was the only time he ever made a mistake. The old 3D printers printed to a small scale. Something he hadn’t double-checked before he started the ‘Oscar’ program. Now, there he was shaped like the Hollywood Oscar, only a bobblehead because of all that brain matter, a couple feet high and totally paralysed…assuming he was alive somewhere in there.

I keep him by the fireplace now. The 3D printer returned and a hefty insurance deal cut. Me a minor celebrity for a time in the news. Not legally a widow but no one would use a 3D printer the same way again, at least not without supervision. At least, he can always be used as a stand-in at the Oscars.



© GF Willmetts 2014

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