OK, there is no way that I can do this justice, and I have been putting off this post for that reason, but I just need to get this out there or I will never get it done!
The first time I saw a heading that mentioned 3D printing, I died a little in side. I have seen so many things jump on the 3D wagon (which rarely improves what ever it is making pop out at you), I was afraid of how they were going to use the term in this case, I mean what, optical illusions on paper? Lucky for me, that part of me that died left a place open for all the awesomeness that is 3D printing!
A 3D printer is a device that is about the size of a small mini-fridge, you can use you computer to create a shape, and this magical mini-fridge of goodness creates it using plastic. There are limits, the devices still can’t make anything real big, and it can’t make anything with moving parts (although you can make the parts and put it together), but other than that, if you want to make something in plastic you can pretty much do it!
The reason I find this so exciting is that currently one of the major groups that are making this tech available to the public is doing most of it open source, and has a huge data base of images that others have built. Yep, you get one of these puppies, and you already have tons of stuff that other people have created that you can make! But what use does it have, I mean, why would I want to buy one?
That is a good question, and to be honest it depends on you, but I think that someday this technology will have a place in every home, unless corporate America (international?) buries it. I personally am interested in it because I like that I can create useful things with it and be creative. For example, I hate that since I don’t like the iPhone, I am limited to very few options for cases, and even fewer options that put together the function and style that I like, but with a 3D printer, I could enter in the dimensions of my phone and create a case of my own taste. That is just one of many applications this technology can currently be used for, I can’t wait to see how it can be improved!
There is one catch, the only way to get a 3D printer, at the moment, is to by a DIY kit, so you might have to have some know how in tech, but like I mentioned at the beginning, I can’t really do this new innovation justice, so check it out yourself at these sites:
I suggest hitting up the Thingiverse first, it shows what others have made.