10 Cool Things 3-D Printers Can Do - InformationWeek
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8/2/2013
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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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3-D printing techniques allow for the manufacture of weird and wild guitars that couldn't be built via traditional methods. The Spider 3-D printed guitar (pictured) is one of a collection of aptly named ODD Guitars by Olaf Diegel, a design engineer and professor of mechatronics at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. According to Diegel's site, the 3-D printing method used to make ODD guitars is called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), which spreads a thin layer -- usually 0.1 mm thick -- of nylon powder to slowly build up a component, layer by layer. This technique allows customers to customize their guitars in (somewhat) economical fashion. The typical price for a Spider guitar is around $3,000 (U.S.).

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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 :-)
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 :-)
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.
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