One survey of the 3-D printing landscape will quickly show you that it's brimming with novelty items and useless junk. But don't let that overwhelm you! We sorted through the clutter to create this list of 10 projects that are both awesome and practical.
Don't have a 3-D printer yet? Chicago's got you covered...
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How about 3D coping a Tree.
@ wishinglane ; Would you like that 3-D printed tree to be made of, say, the pulp of one tree and some cellulose from a few more? That would be awesome. We could make whole forests of them. To protect the forests for all time.
@ Joey Carmichael ; Here's the coolest thing being 3-D printed in and around buildings all over the civilized world, by everybody.
Got a water spigot around anywhere? Then you probably been 3-D printing all your life already. Who knew?
Ok, seriously, folks. This is one of the hot new things, and I get it how everybody wants to start printing out everything. As pointed out here, much of what people print out is junk. Either serving no purpose, or not serving it's purpose well, being born of a 'quickie idea'. Damn shame really, considering the money people are putting out for them. Overall, this growing trend is going to be a significant addition to total waste GDP as well as filling our landfills with more plastics and glues and resins and solvents, etc. Not even counting the 9 out of 10 printer units ever manufactured in these first, second, and third generations of the technology also being junked soon in favor of actual, thought-out 4th gen technology with real capability for real world applications-like making people's work life easier-FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S PROFIT, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T DO THE WORK.
We been looking at the wage paradigm in this nation for 30+ years, since the first sanctification of the trickle down proposal. And NO ONE can agree on how it can ever work, yet here we are.
So how's this? Let's just say that workplace innovations via EMPLOYEE OWNED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTIES should be ACTUALLY REWARDED WITH MONEY AND REAL BENEFITS, and that it should be backed by law as mandatory. Limited use rights predicated on proper signatures, binding on THE OWNERS OF THE BUSINESS WHO WILL STILL SEE PRODUCTION AND PROFITS JUMP YET AGAIN. Not on a business, or a division of a business; because humans are starting to think they are getting screwed over that way a bit too regular. An employee gets fired, they take their property with them or can sell or whatever.
And before any deniers wanna get started saying that this is already reality, all I can say is that you obviously haven't seen too much of the issue in real life where most of the people live-most don't work for Boeing or GE; where something like a realistic portion of people get paid for their stuff. Just try getting a case going on an employer, at a job you need, with no money to pay. I dare ya.
If those are the ten coolest things you can make with a 3D printer, I won't be getting one anytime soon.
quasi44: you seem to have a serious beef with 3d printing technology... As someone who does a lot of one-off production, I can assure you that i'm not sending more to a landfill by using this. By using a 3d printer, I don't have to do injection molding or machining of any plastic parts. In both of those scenarios, you start with a chunk of material, cut the majority of it off and throw the scrap in the trash. In the case of the injection molding, you use three different waste materials in addition to your plastic. Using a 3d printer and planning your parts correctly so that you don't have to use supporting material means using significantly less material than I would throw away otherwise.
All the useless crap you're talking about is just artsy stuff to get the general public excited. You can drill it, you can tap it, you can machine it if you like, you can get a good surface finish. nearly anything you can do with aluminum, you can do with this stuff. I've seen a working pneumatic turbine made completely of 3d printed parts that propelled a 20 pound train up to almost 20 mph.
To your point, the average person doesn't need to go out and start buying these things unless they're really handy people. If you're not constantly trying to fix things around the house without going to the hardware store and you're not the type that can motivate yourself to learn how to use a modeling program, you're likely not going to get any use out of a 3d printer.
Check out this handy cigarette and lighter case, the SMOKESNAP, on Thingiverse
I think one of the best parts of 3D printers / Thingiverse is the ability to use the customizer and have any product perfectly fit for what you need
Where do I buy the raw materials and what are they?