A 3D printer is certainly good for prototyping. For actually production? Not so much.
This project has ambitious goals: integrated database for all things neuroscience, testbed and virtual lab for neuron simulation, brain-inspired new hardware ("neuromorphic computing", possible required to achieve the exascale hardware to create the simulation), new insight into neurological diseases and finally the simulation of a human brain and therefore the human mind.
Even if it achieves only 1/3 of its goals it would be already a success. This project has its share of naysayers and distractors though, who all know beforehand it won't work. I think, the majority of them are other neuroscientist who fear, they won't get any funding in the future.
If it works however, it will provide major scientific breakthroughs. I'm all for it. One fear is laughable: that this will become something like an all-seeing, all-knowing skynet. If at all, it will just simulate an average human brain with all its weaknessess and irrationalities. The FutureICT project (didn't win) deems me much more dangerous in this regard. It was planned as a simulation of all human activity on a global scale.
not a physicist here, but i think it is a pretty big difference, whether you treat something as a real physical object, whose existence and relationship with everything else you can and must explore or simply as a mathematical convenience to label it as an object without really believing it is one for the sake of simplifying calculations.
i think this has happend with electro-magnetic fields.
"Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win."
I cannot search for text with the Firefox' find dialog. But they say, that their documents are now fully part of the HTML infrastructure, so they should be searchable, no? Try their self-introduction for HTML 5 and see, whether you can search for "Highlight me!", which is in the middle of the document.
Or I'm doing something wrong here?