|Small and cute|
Feast your eyes on the Thingiverse website pictures. Click through to the fashion, gadget and hobby pictures. (The free stuff is for home use only). I'm still thinking, "Is this for real?". It's for real.
You're going on a picnic so you print some plastic knives and spoons.
You want a 3 1/2 inch wood screw with a 3/16 inch shaft and a 5/8" hex head. Print it in plastic.
You'd like a holder to clip a water bottle to the bike frame? Push "Start". The fleches on your dart set are broken? Print some more. Spare copy of your house key in hard plastic? You broke the corner off the plastic on the electric egg beater. Re-print.
You need a custom fitted prosthesis? Collaborate with the software guy and print it at home.
A holder for screw bits and a 10 mm wrench (in blue plastic)? Edit file, press Control P.
Landscape models for an architect? Already done.
Some of this is already on Thingiverse.
A few years from now there will be hundreds of thousands of thing downloads.
Access to reprint files will be part of product support when you buy a new gadget.
Small businesses will stock a lot of stuff in a print out file, available in a few hours without having to courier
it in from Toronto or Vancouver.
You can buy them:
|Printed in one piece|
and the parts move.
Price comparison page (About 100 units priced from $200 to $2000)
http://www.3dprinterscanada.com/ (Print the plastic shell with rubbery buttons for a TV remote.
Some things aren't available that would need molten metal.
But they have been printing human organ shape and printing live cells into the matrix. And then there's copyright!
Get ready. Your smartphone was just a start. The 3D sequel is as big or bigger and will change how our economy works.
UPDATE: UPS is testing 3D service
UPDATE: 3D Statue of yourself that looks real for $300
UPDATE: Expectations are overhyped. Written by a guy who prints lots of 3D stuff.
UPDATE: A 1911 pistol made of laser deposited sintered metal, fired 50 shots so far.