Keeping Kreative with a 3D printer

So get this, a few weeks ago I took a 3D printing class!!

I haven’t learned any new skill in a while, so I thought this would be a fun nerd-activity.

I’ve been fascinated by 3D printing since around 2007, but only now are 3D printers become semi-reliable enough for home use.

Anywhoozle…..I Googled “3D Printing Class Austin” and found a place called TechShop that holds them:3d-print-test5

This TechShop was connected to a Lowe’s hardware store, and you can pay a monthly membership to use all the high end machine and manufacturing tools there like this:3d-print-test4

The class I enrolled in would teach you how to use a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer.  You can see the Replicator1 (left), and Replicator2 (right):
3d-print-test3

Our instructor mainly showed how to use the cool-looking Replicator2:
3d-print-test6

The first step was to learn the software, so we all downloaded pre-existing .stl files from the internet and loaded them into the 3D printing software.  Here’s the little toy octopus gettin ready to print:
3d-print-test9

Once the file is sent to the printer, it starts printing out small layers of PLA plastic less than 1 millimeter thick.  Once it’s done with that first layer, it moves up and prints another layer.  It does this hundreds of times until a full object is printed out!

Here’s the printer in action using orange plastic:
3d-print-test7

After about 15 minutes of printing a REAL OBJECT WE DOWNLOADED FROM THE INTERNET CAME INTO EXISTENCE!!!
3d-print-test1

Now I’d been wanting a 3D printer for a long time, and after taking the class I was dead-set on getting one….so I made a quick internet order for a MakerBot Replicator2.

I ordered a couple of spools of plastic filament and the MakerCare Insurance (because there’s like a 99% chance something WILL go wrong with the machine in less than a year).

I’ve also started downloading the printing software and experimenting/downloading objects from the internet.

The first thing I want to print are these 3D shot glasses which would be impossible to create with a lathe or laser cutter:
Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 7.15.49 PM

I also just for fun wanna print a gun….now keep in mind it’s just a mold of a gun made out of shitty plastic with no moving parts….but the CRAZY thing is the file I’m printing from actually includes all the parts to make a gun (assuming you had a high-precision metal-printing 3D printer you could possibly make one):Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 7.17.11 PM

I also downloaded a bunch of other random cool stuff from Thingiverse for free.

I dunno exactly where 3D printing will go…..but the ability to create and print out highly complex objects from your home is going open up a WHOLE new plane of creativity like Apps did to smartphones.

It’s so cool to imagine that from my apartment I can manufacture things.  I mean….crappy things for now, but the technology will soon get better-and-better to the point where we’ll all be able to print out highly complex objects, machines, and circuitry.  SOOOO FREAKIN COOL!

Since I left college I’d always been trying to learn something new at all times….and lately I haven’t, so getting this excited about something new is very refreshing :)

 

Keep Kreative!
Sincerely,
Neville Medhora

Blog posted on: September 11, 2013

22 comments on “Keeping Kreative with a 3D printer

  1. Valerie

    A friend’s husband has one of these machines. I figured it was for work… had no idea it was a consumer product. Damn. With my love of technology… I better keep my distance. WAY COOL!

    Reply
    1. Neville Post author

      Well CURRENTLY they are super experimental and slow and lame….but the technology will start growing like computers did, and be able to do some REALLY amazing things soon!

      Reply
    1. Neville Post author

      HOLY CRAP!!! Never thought of that!!!!

      Looked it up, saw you already ordered a NevBox…..I’m shipping you a book to your snail mail address for the idea (you jogged my mind) :-)

      Reply
  2. Brad Bowman

    Nev,

    Key patents are expiring in 2014 which are going to make the home 3d printers a ton better and more in line with the commercial grade ones. Google it and be prepared to buy another one in 2014 for a much better experience!

    Thanks,
    Brad

    Reply
      1. Nate Johnson

        Nev,

        Feel free to ping me on Facebook any time you have any questions, I’d love to help and/or get an answer for you; I’ve done a LOOOOOT of research throughout the 3d printing world and it’s fucking complicated, simply put.

        When I’m in Austin in early June 2014, I’ll bring my 3d printer and scanner outfit and we’ll have some fun scanning you in and printing you out.

        -nate

        Reply
  3. Rob Maeder

    This is awesome! While they are still fairly expensive, 3D printers are cheaper than I thought they’d be at this point.

    I have no real reason to have one, but I can just imagine how many random little plastic objects I’d have around my house if I had my own 3D printer…

    Reply
  4. Dev Singh

    Hey Nev, when you did the workshop did they talk at all about the environmental implications of the 3D printing trend? I’m really curious about this, considering that as it takes off, so will a lot of plastic, I’m assuming. Is it biodegradable stuff? Recyclable? What about the manufacturing of the actual printers?
    Dev

    Reply
    1. Neville Post author

      Not sure about that. I’m sure the amount of plastic used for 3D printing is only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction as heavy industry.

      I actually think it will CUT DOWN on materials as it ONLY prints what’s needed. Traditional manufacturing is much more wasteful.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: I gots me a 3D printer!! | Neville's Financial Blog

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