A 3-D Printer In Every Home

First it was a chicken in every pot, a PC in every home... Why not a 3-D printer?

These are printed parts for a puzzle shown later
These are printed parts for a puzzle shown later
I want a 3-D printer.  I need a 3-D printer.  I must have a 3-D printer.

Like this post and Follow me if you have or want to have a 3-D printer!

I've spent the past year or so thinking off and on about 3-D printers.  Lots of people do, it seems, because my videos of 3-D printers have received tens of thousands of views. (68K and counting)
Out there, in the Wide Wide World, there are many folks drooling over 3-D printers.

You may be wondering why anyone would want, need, or must have a 3-D printer.

A Computer in Every Home
There was a time when I didn't know I needed a computer in my home.  I purchased my first for what would now seem to be an atrocious sum of money.  If I recall correctly, it was in the 4K+ range - for a desktop machine in an enormous case.  It was technically my second computer, but my first was an Atari 800 purchased (for $800 several years earlier) with an over-achieving brother.  I didn't see it much.

A Mobile Phone in Every Pocket
Mobile phones were once the work tools of realtors and the wealthy.  The simple ability to be able to be reached by phone anytime your clients wished was quite the status symbol.  To me, it was a bit over the top.  My first mobile phone was a Nokia.  Simple, dial out, receive calls.  No camera, no smart anything.

A Smart Phone in Every Purse
Then, there came the i's and smarts.  It took years, but I got my first iPhone for Christmas last year.

Well, I've found something that I must have, and for once, everyone doesn't yet have one.  But soon... very, very soon.

A 3-D printer.

But wait.  A lot is known about 3-D printers, and yet a lot isn't.  I'm going to spend some time sharing my thoughts about 3-D printers.  They will be my personal thoughts, not those of others who may have more experience than me.  I will make mistakes.  Please feel free to gently correct me.  If you are sharing what was for you a negative personal experience, please be gentle.  We're in a world of mutual growth, and that includes several new companies that are producing 3-D printers.  Share your experience, but please, no hostility.  If there was an experience that was both positive and negative, please be sure to include both the good and the not as good aspects of what you are doing.

My hope is that you will share what you think/know in the comments and we can both benefit from our mutual experiences.

To set a baseline for the discussion, please watch the video I took at the Bay Area Makerfaire last year.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Matt Thompson May 23, 2013 at 09:10 PM
I bought a Printbot Jr last fall and really love it. I bought it pre-assembled, since I was more interested in 3D printing than printer building. Printrbot will be coming out with a $299 model in June. You still need to be a bit of a hacker/maker to play with it, but it's a great device for the price. (http://printrbot.com/shop/printrbot-simple-beta/)
Squigglemom, Trish Tsoi-A-Sue May 23, 2013 at 11:59 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Matt! Would like to know what you mean by: "You still need to be a bit of a hacker/maker to play with it..."
Gene Wildhart May 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM
I have a Solidoodle 3D printer, and 3D printing is by no means as easy as 2D printing. You need to understand (and often tinker with) various heater settings, knowledge of calibration of the X,Y,Z axis is critical, as is understanding how to properly use slicing software to slice a 3d-model. 3D Printing is certainly not "plug & play", and probably not yet ready for the masses in my opinion.
Squigglemom, Trish Tsoi-A-Sue May 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Thank you, Gene! This is really great feedback! I did get the sense that there are many nuances to using a 3D printer! With the introduction of models as low as $299, (soon) it makes it very within range of the average consumer. So... this feedback is invaluable for consumer awareness!
alacaprice May 24, 2013 at 05:15 PM
I already have the PC, and I have the chicken or maybe just the pot. Would truly love the 3d. I'll keep the image firmly in my mind [in 3-d] while visualizing Trish WITH her 3-d!
Squigglemom, Trish Tsoi-A-Sue May 24, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Hi alacaprice, As I prepare for my own 3D printer, I will surely think about things YOU can do with it!


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