What do houses, human organs, food and guns have in common?
According to panelists at the Milken Institute Global Conference, it's 3-D printing, the technology that enables people to print three-dimensional products by precisely depositing layer upon layer of material.
Innovators are working on creating entire buildings and human parts such as bones using the high-tech printers, said Avi Reichental, chief executive of printing firm 3-D Systems Corp.
"All of this activity is happening as we speak," he said at the panel. "It's not futuristic sci-fi."
The technology is on its way to revolutionizing manufacturing in the same way that online music sharing disrupted the music industry and blogging changed journalism, said panelist Peter Weijmarshausen, chief executive of Shapeways.