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8/2/2013
12:51 PM
Jeff Bertolucci
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10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do

Cars, guitars, and tracheal implants: Is there anything that 3-D printers can't make?
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Drive a stick? How about a little haptic and visual feedback to help you shift gears? The Haptic Feedback Shift Knob works in conjunction with an Android app that monitors a vehicle's RPM, speed and accelerator pedal position. The app vibrates the shift knob when it's time for the driver to change gears. The knob was originally designed by Ford engineer Zachary Nelson, who explains in this video how he uses an inexpensive (sub-$1,000) MakerBot 3-D printer with open source software to design and build the part. The shift knob also has embedded electronics for driver feedback, push buttons to activate voice controls, and other features.

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tcubed
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tcubed,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/5/2013 | 5:37:13 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
How about having the 3D printer make another 3D printer; and so on, and so on; eventually they will be plentiful and cheap enough for me to be able to afford one :-)
NnoduaN197
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NnoduaN197,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/6/2013 | 3:07:00 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
How can I get a 3D portable handy scanner
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/6/2013 | 6:34:48 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
I love this technology, and it's amazing how it's just catching on with the public. Many people are still learning what it can do, and why it may be useful. Meanwhile its use within the medical and dental fields, to say the least, have been mindblowing (look it up). It doesn't hurt that I can print shoes too. A 3D printer is rapidly making its way to the top of my Christmas wish-list.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/6/2013 | 7:03:14 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
3D printers are great for prototypes, but I think their utility to the general public is overstated. Until they can print food, it will always be more affordable and easier to one-click purchase plastic baubles from Amazon.com. In any event, many useful items have moving parts and/or were made with multiple materials, making them ill-suited for 3D printing. Single-substance items, like dinner plates, deserve a substance better than plastic (and even plates work better with glaze on the ceramic...so a multi-step manufacturing process). I'm sure however they'll find a home in places like the International Space Station for parts replication.
KMBurnham
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KMBurnham,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2013 | 4:54:45 PM
re: 10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do
^^+1. The applications are endless :-)
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