3-D printing, the technology that will change retail stores forever, still has a long way to go to best injection-moulded plastic. But if you want one application where 3-D printing kicks the arse of conventional tooling, look no further than this Inception-inspired coffee table. Stelios Mousarris's Wave City coffee table takes design cues from Nolan's mind-bending movie, with an incredibly detailed cityscape that folds back in on itself. The table is constructed from a blend of wood and steel, with 3-D printing apparently used to model the skyscrapers.
Aside from being a wonderfully impractical piece of furniture I would dearly like to own, it's a good demonstration of where additive manufacturing technology stands right now: that level of precision and finnicky detail would be virtually impossible to replicate by hand. But it's still ruinously expensive (the table runs $US4500 [$6376]), and only practical for one-off or limited-run manufacturing.
Image credit: Stelios Mousarris