Monday, March 18, 2013

First encounter with a desktop 3D printer : Makerbot Replicator 2

This past weekend i went to's place in SF. 

Of course Brett had his new Replicator MakerBot II 3D Printer , printing something. A Dodecahedron shape actually. It basically runs round the clock, i bet ; )

It was interesting to interact with a 3D printer for the first time. The first thing that was unexpected was the sound: bzz-duu-deeee-duuu-bzz-vrrrrwwr -duu-dee-duuu A veritable robot melody is produced as the device actually runs and prints something.

Below is a video of Brett's Replicator 3D printing a Dodecahedron, that brett downloaded from the Makerbot design store, .  Apparently making your own designs is pretty tricky even for a design software tool ninja. But fortunately the store has a bunch of cool designs you can download.
My first takeway impressions from encountering a 3D printer are that this technology and market space definitely have huge potential. 
The color of the material, the material itself, the resolution, path optimization , speed, all could be optimized. There is tons of headroom to improve all of those factors, but one thing was clear, this is going to be a transformative technology. 

I am not sure how long it will take the market to adopt it, which will be driven by how fast the start ups in this space figure out how to drive down the price and optimize the product. But it is something i see myself buying in a generation or two. 

Here is another example of what you can print with a replicator. A cute 3D Penguin with a monocle !