On San Francisco's Pier 9, Autodesk jumpstarts 3D printing of human skin.

Bay Area 3D design software giant Autodesk is expanding its San Francisco office space.

We told you that 3D printing is about to blow your mind, and Autodesk is very much in the game with their savvy acquisition of Instructables (which will be headed up from this location) and their December announcement of partnership with bioprinter Organovo.

The company will open a 27,000-square-foot office space on Pier 9, just off the Embarcadero near the new Exploratorium, that will become home to, among other things, the advanced robotics workshop and labs that research nanotechnologies and synthetic biology.

The partnership with Organovo will work to create the first 3D biological printing software.

doug-jones-as-abe-sapien-in-hellboy-2004Wonder what the adventurers at biotech hackerspace BioCurious, which is just an hour away in Sunnyvale, will do with that! They're already developing a DIY bioprinter that can print living cells for "less than the cost of an iPod Touch" (get the Instructable to build your own here).

Finally, my dreams of an Abe Sapien face can come true. Back-alley grey-market Seoul bio-clinic, warm up your printer, here I come!

His face was a simple graft grown on collagen and shark-cartilage polysaccharides, smooth and hideous. It was one of the nastiest pieces of elective surgery Case had ever seen. When Angelo smiled, revealing the razor-sharp canines of some large animal, Case was actually relieved. Toothbud transplants. He'd seen that before.

Organovo’s bioplotter, one of the only machines that can shape living tissue, works like a standard desktop 3-D printers but uses living cells instead of ABS plastic. It creates tissue by printing a gel base material as a scaffold and then deposits cells which mature into living material that can be used in the process of developing new pharmaceuticals.

Bradshaw doesn’t think it will be too long before we could print a new hand.

“I don’t think it’s next year, but I don’t think it’s as long as 10 years,” he said.

Completely amazing, right? Now check out this TED talk by Anthony Atala on printing a human kidney! The future is finally here! And it doesn't include organleggers.