“Scientists are pioneering the use of 3D printers to create drugs and other chemicals at the University of Glasgow.
Researchers have used a £1,250 system to create a range of organic compounds and inorganic clusters - some of which are used to create cancer treatments.
Longer term, the scientists say the process could be used to make customised medicines.
They predict the technique will be used by pharmaceutical firms within five years, and by the public within 20.
"We are showing that you can take chemical constituents, pass them through a printer and create what is effectively a chemical synthesiser in which the reaction occurs allowing you to get out something different at the end," researcher Mark Symes told the BBC.
"We're extrapolating from that to say that in the future you could buy common chemicals, slot them into something that 3D prints, just press a button to mix the ingredients and filter them through the architecture and at the bottom you would get out your prescription drug."
The 3D printing process involves the use of a robotically controlled syringe which builds an object out of a gel-based "ink", into which chemicals and catalysts are mixed.
"Chemists normally put chemicals in glassware to create a reaction," said Prof Lee Cronin, who came up with the idea…”