Cars, guitars, and tracheal implants: Is there anything that 3-D printers can't make?
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It's no secret that printer supplies are crazy expensive, so this idea should appeal to anyone who's ever paid big bucks for ink cartridges. InkFactory.com, a U.K.-based retailer of printer cartridges, recently 3-D-printed a working inkjet cartridge. The project began in June when InkFactory bought a MakerBot Replicator 2 3-D printer and a set of colored PLA plastics. The company chose Kodak 30C and Kodak 30B cartridges for its project, and used the SolidWorks CAD program to design 3-D drawings of the objects. It then exported the drawings as industry standard .STL files to the MakerWare software (included with the Replicator printer) and after some modifications, began printing. Here's a brief video of the project.
So will we all start printing our own ink cartridges? Probably not, as InkFactory says the project was a significant undertaking. But there's always hope.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.