Say you're an paleoanthropologist, and you want to replicate some other scientist's findings about the so-called Missing Link. Could you easily do so? Nope--because the data you'd use for your tests is a unique bone fragment. It's located far, far away from you. Its ownership is indeterminate. And it's highly vulnerable to temperature and touch. You're not getting your hands on that thing.
Cue 3D-printing technology changing everything. The British Geological Survey is compiling a database of fossils using 3D scanners. These 3D image files will be downloadable to the public for 3D printing, and searchable by time period, location, and species.
Guys! This means that you can have that life-sized Triceratops skull you always wanted!
It also means that a whole bunch of scientific fields are about to get way less objective and way more, well, scientific, as findings become more easily corroborated. And you thought 3D printing was just hot pink yoda heads!