A couple of days ago I saw a post on Twitter titled The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011. To be blunt, the title is a complete lie. Many of the images are boring. Few of the images work without a caption to explain what is shown. Good images speak without a caption. The adage isn’t “a picture is worth a thousand words” for no reason. There is good stuff in the list but it’s diluted among weaker images. The post could have worked far better with 10 images. Of course 10 images probably wouldn’t pull in the eyeballs.
Harping away is pointless though. Instead I’m going to edit the 45 down to 5. Here goes my take.
1. This is a powerful image.
3. Somewhere in Europe.
4. Somewhere in Middle America.
There’s interesting work going on in 3d printing now. The technology is being brought from the high end right down to the hobbyist.
Most fabrication processes that we think of, machining or sculpture, involve removing material from a piece. Think of Michelangelo chipping away at a block of marble over the course of months and years. With 3d printing you can design a model (usually a CAD drawing) and translate that model into instructions of where and when to add plastic till you have a completed sculpture. If sculpture isn’t your thing, you could also print a water bottle, blocks for a child, or an iPad cover.
With less than $1,000 you can build a 3d printer that will output small items made of plastic. The RepRap Project is an open source movement to put 3d printing in the hands of hobbyists worldwide.
Early stage companies, such as Makerbot, have released a couple of iterations of 3d printers. Makerbot has their own Thing-O-Matic available. The RepRap Project is an open source movement to put 3d printing schematics in the hands of hobbyists worldwide. LulzBot is selling kits to build your own RepRap printer. They also sell the parts to build a MendelMax, a new RepRap variant. I’m going to build a MendelMax in the next couple of weeks to get a foot into this world. Here’s to some entertainment.