It’s great to live in the Bay Area, where resources like TechShop and MakerFaire allow us to access the latest physical object technology developments. However, one thing New York is getting first is Shapeways‘ Factory of the Future. At this unbelievable 3D print-on-demand store, they are going to have 50 industrial 3d printing machines. In the very near future, you’ll be able to send in your file and have your object printed and then go pick it up, like having a poster printed at Kinkos. And the materials available aren’t just plastics, resins and nylon anymore- you can get metal and (food-safe!!) ceramic printed too.
At the London 3D Printshow last month, legendary British milliner Stephen Jones debuted his first wearable 3D printed hat! You can watch a video of the hat being printed and then worn on the runway here. Clone Factory in Japan is using 3D printing to make custom personal action figures and dolls. Materialise N.V., a huge rapid prototyping company, has a design division called MGX that makes housewares and accessories from files created by contemporary designers. Here in the Bay Area, Bespoke Innovations uses 3D print technology to design unique, uncannily beautiful custom artificial limbs. That’s one of theirs in the picture. Even lighting elements are now being printed, thanks to some awesome work by Disney Research – did you even know there was a research lab arm of Disney? I didn’t, until today!
3D printing is going to affect every area of your life, sooner than you think. Including your very tissues. So it’s definitely time to be aware of this technology, and start thinking…if you could make anything you could imagine, what would you make?
Although it may be a while before the Bay Area gets its own Shapeways Factory, you can buy the new Cube home 3D printer for just $1299 and get in on this design and manufacturing revolution. And it uses wifi! Of course, just like any printer, it’s the cartridges that’ll get you costwise, at $50 a pop!
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