Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Build your own 3d printer!

We are rapidly approaching the Diamond Age, where someday the feed will be readily available to all.

On the right is a Fab@Home 3d printer that you can build for about $2,300 worth of off-the-shelf parts.

"The site also includes construction hints, ideas for applications, notes on the history of 3-D printing and discussion groups. People are invited and encouraged to make improvements, and a sort of cult is slowly forming." -Science Daily.

Open source is wonderful.

Instructions to build the 3d printer on the right are at: http://www.fabathome.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

From Science Daily's article, here's what some people are doing:
"Biologists at Rockefeller University have been using a Fab@Home to deposit slime mold cells in various arrangements to see how the distribution influences their ability to form colony organisms.
The British magazine Auto Express suggests that fabbers could be used to make auto parts, allowing individuals to customize cars in ways that were previously available only to those with large manufacturing facilities.
While the usual expectation is to make solid objects out of epoxy or other quick-hardening plastic, the Fab@Home also can be used with plaster, Play-Doh, silicone, wax (to make forms for casting), low-melting-point metals and a variety of other materials.
Cornell graduate student Dan Periard and Jennifer Yao '08 have been loading commercial frosting into the machine to make cake decorations. It's not frivolous work, Lipson says: Because frosting dissolves in water it can provide temporary support for hollow structures and later be washed away.
A high school student in Kentucky is experimenting with a heated syringe to "fab" with chocolate."

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