Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Possibilities of Ubiquitous 3D Printing

We are a little way from 3D Printing being ubiquitous but I am sure that day will come.  I am also not sure what form it will take, at least initially.  Maybe in a transition state between every home having one (aka Startrek Replicator!) the 3D Hubs concept will be the enabler with everyone in the world having someone like me nearby that will print their stuff for a small fee.

In any case, here is a scenario.  You just got your new 3D Printer and it came with a reel of filament.  In delightful blue.  You promptly order another reel in white but when you get it you notice a problem:
Sure enough.  That new spool is NOT going to fit.  Now in the olden days this would have had me making a phone call to product support and if they were nice they would ship me one that fits for free, maybe even next day shipping.   Or they would charge me for it at a margin of 60% and ship it pony express.   Or they would not have it in stock but would in a couple of weeks.  Take your pick.  In the new world you go search for Ultimaker 2 Spoolholder and download a design:
Then you print it:
Then you are done.   Two hours later and at the cost of 27 pence and some electricity:
In reality, I was not quite done.  The sharpest of bunnies out there might have noticed that the spool holder does not look long enough.   It was not.   So add a step of stretching it using a 3D design tool and then reprint it.   Another two hours and another 30 pence.

Obviously, I have a 3D printer.  But in that future world of ubiquity this could have been me printing the part for something on the printer down the street.  Or the replicator built into a cabinet in my new house as they are in most new houses.

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