The go-to line is that desktop 3D printers represent “the democratization of manufacturing.”
If you have a printer of your own, there’s nearly no limit to what you can make. You don’t even need to be technically skilled in electronics or design.
People around the world are constantly uploading the digital files necessary to replicate their creations to a site that’s especially popular among the 3D printing community: MakerBot’s Thingiverse. While MakerBot sells its own line of 3D printers, there’s no need for you to own one of their printers specifically in order to use these files. Any printer that can read the files will do.
Here are some of the most impressive, interesting, or non-obvious applications of print-it-yourself manufacturing you can find on Thingiverse.
The detail on this action figure is stunning. It has 70 points of articulation. Look at the hands and fingers.
If you've got an engineer's mind, you might go to work on building a quadcopter (equipped with a video camera!).
On the more practical 'why didn't I think of that?' side of things, here's a makeshift lid for your bag of coffee.
And from the 'I definitely never would have thought of that' category, here's a water fountain for your cat.
Designers can run wild with this technology. Here's an elaborate design for a box for your knick-knacks.
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