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3d printer update - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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November 30th, 2007

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05:55 pm - 3d printer update
4 or 5 years ago, I read in several places that we'd have the first home 3-d printers in 5-6 years, which is clearly true. This thing is exceptionally limited, but it works. I can't imagine anyone but a dedicated plastic model kit-basher really wanting or needing one, but it's a start. Vastly expensive and incredibly limited, but still a start.

OTOH, this multi-material printer is considerably more impressive, here's a more detailed piece about it. If (and this doesn't seem like much of a stretch) such a printer can deliver colors and a variety of finished textures, then the possibility of creating your own (or downloading and sharing) models, children's toys, actions figures, and sex toys becomes something we might start seeing in a 3-5 years when the first of these gadgets is made for $3,000 or less.

Of course, things can get even more interesting, and likely will with considerably speed. Here's a 2004 piece about using a modified inkjet printer to print circuit boards and here's a recent article about what's being done with this tech recently. So, in 8-10 years, getting a new piece of pocket-sized electronics may well involve downloading it and printing it out at home or at Kinkos. So it goes... At this point, I am not willing to make predictions of what 2020 will be like, other than it's likely to be fairly impressive.
Current Mood: impressedimpressed

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[User Picture]
Date:December 1st, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
Not to mention the people working toward developing printers which will be capable of printing bodily organs. They've had some small success with getting modified printers to arrange cells in a selected pattern, although it's a long way and a lot of work off from actually printing a full organ.

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