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3D Printer


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I am totally fascinated. The sci-fi 3D printer is real. Today, simple plastic/glass/metal/etc. things. Tomorrow the world?

So I saw one in action, and in under twelve minutes one of these (DIY!) printers made a plastic whistle they downloaded from the internet. How is this any less than extremely cool and scary at the same time? Already in some parts of the worlds selected items have been banned (printed sex toys are popular to ban), but how are you going to check up on this?

With the right ingredients, in a few years time a doctor could quickly print some item they need to save a life, while down the block some kid could be illegally downloading a patented uzi to show his pals at school.

Though I'm also surprised by how long it actually took to make this kind of product. Apparently the whole brainstorming and production of the DIY version (sells for about $1200) was one of the first real physical open source products.

I realise this is both a hardware discussion and a general discussion so yeah. Edited by Boo
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I remember this being merely a concept at one time (I read it in a magazine some years ago, but can't remember which), but now the basic technology is a reality. It's an interesting development, which could have even more wide ranging uses as this sort of technology develops. The magazine I read it in speculated that it could be used in the medical industry, and now taking a glance at some news articles, it's now being suggested that this sort of 3D printer could be used to create artificial blood vessels.

Another use that I've come across for these things was, of course, related to nerdy toys, haha. Clone Factory in Japan makes dolls/figurines with those kinds of printers, where they scan a person's head and then print out a miniature copy of that person's head! Once that's done, they stick the head on a doll, for whatever reason. Some brides have made miniatures of themselves this way, capturing the way they looked on their wedding as a memento. Others - fantastic nerd Danny Choo - used it to put their own miniature heads on their favorite action figures, like a Stormtrooper. If I remember, they have two 3D printers, one which prints out a better quality item than the other.

Yeah, I can't wait to see how this will evolve when the technology becomes better, and thus capable of producing more functional items.
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