Have you heard of 3D printers? They’ve been around since the 1980s but in recent years they’ve sized down and plummeted in price, sparking a surge in mass appeal. And when I see what they make, I gasp!
How they work is basically this: First, you use 3D software to create a model on your computer. It could be anything — a replacement part for your broken toaster, a bracelet, or even you as a little toy! Then the printer takes the virtual model and “prints” it by laying down layer after layer of material until the object is something you can hold in your hand.
I’m so curious about these machines, that I recently took a MakerBot office tour, and I can tell you the 3D printers I saw were small enough for a desktop, as quiet as a typical inkjet, and beautifully designed. I admit I felt like a child at a magic show. We are living in the future, friends! (Here’s another example of a desktop size 3D printer.)
Have you ever seen or tried one? Do these make your imagination soar? They are predicted to spark a new manufacturing revolution. Some say it will be bigger than the industrial revolution. Makes my mind spin.
P.S. — It’s not just trinkets. Researchers are trying to “print” with cells and create kidneys. (Gasp!)