Yesterday Sir Fraser Stoddart won a one third share of the 2016 Chemistry Nobel Prize, for developing molecular machines, i.e., molecules that act like machines in the sense that they can move, exert forces etc. Stoddart was an academic in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, when I started as an undergraduate. He never taught me as I didn’t take his course, but he did teach friends of mine. They were not impressed by the future Nobel Laureate.
At a workshop I was at in Princeton in April, one of the speakers illustrated a rather beautiful state of matter called the gyroid phase, by passing round a 3D printed model of this state of matter. I was instantly both impressed and envious. There is a cool gif of the gyroid here, but holding a model in your hands and turning it over to see it from all angles, is better than any picture on a 2D screen.