A tool for the people


I just wanted to express something that makes me happy. I was going to tweet this, but I couldn’t get all the right words into 140 characters.

I’ve talked to a lot of people about 3D printing, across all ages and across all genders, and I get nothing but excitement about the possibilities.

What’s important is that it isn’t just the “yeah, yeah, people are excited about 3D printing” part, but rather that this is one of the few instances where a tool that you use to make something at home doesn’t have a gender-specific stereotype attached to it. What other tool can both the man of the house and the woman of the house fight over to make something on?

Sadly, one doesn’t get the same response across the board with, say, talking about a circular saw, or conversely, waxing poetic about a sewing machine; there are pre-conceived notions about who can/should use what tools in the world today.

What I like about MakerBot, as opposed to some other DIY 3D printer companies out there, is that they seem to get this. You see Bre showing off the latest Makerbot with giant geared hearts, fantasy play sets, blue rabbits, red robots, and brightly-colored remote control vehicles. Go to other companies’ sites and you’ll see lots of gears and boring parts to make more printers. They seem to be very short-sighted in what they see the use of their printers as being, or who their users are.

The community handles it very well. Take a trip over to Thingiverse. Yes you’ll see gears and parts to make more printers, but you’ll also see jewelry, robots, swans, sunglasses, and so many other things that are appealing to young and old, boys, girls, and even animals! This is what makes 3D printing so exciting to so many; anyone and everyone can make whatever they can imagine. Imagination knows no age, class, or gender bounds.

Personally, I hope it stays this way.

3D printers – toys for the surrealist’s playground

Apologies in advance: this post is more scattered than normal as there is no story here, just passion and feeling. And some pictures.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 3D printers can, more easily than almost any other tool out there, turn dreams into reality. The barriers to the physical manifestation of almost any idea have been greatly reduced, and there is no reason that every thing one can envision shouldn’t be 3D printed, regardless of how silly it may seem.

Continue reading

Food trailer? No way – a 3D printer trailer.

So, shortly after I got my Makerbot Thing-o-Matic, and while I was thinking about what the “killer app” of 3D printing was going to be, I had an idea. I shared this idea with several friends under a Friend-DA (“shhhh – don’t tell no one”) because I had considered it a viable start-up option, and one that I would pursue. It got lots of positive feedback.

Continue reading

Desktop Innovation – Part 3

Reality check

Okay – let’s cut through all my hype and hyperbole of parts 1 and 2, and talk about reality.

It’s nice and all to be dreaming of a (near) future where everyone can be designing and 3D printing “things” that change the world, not just 3D printing other people’s “things”. That’s not what the future is, I know that. It doesn’t happen in other areas, why would it happen here?

Continue reading

The MothBees Have Come!

After being very happy with my MothBee printing and finishing experiment, I decided to send the file to Shapeways to see how materials that I cannot print would look. After placing an order for MothBee in black glossy glass, white matte glass, antique shiny bronze, and stainless steel, Shapeways said I would be getting the objects the week of October 3rd. Perfect timing as I am going on vacation next week and would come home just in time to receive the package. Much to my surprise and delight, a ring of the doorbell this evening led me to find a box resting against the door with all my objects!