The First 11 Things Out of Your Brand New 3D Printer

People seem to enjoy my Top 11 lists. So it seems that when the office gets a new toy, I immediately become the goto guy for the most absurdly, sardonic uses of the new found gadgetry. (Don’t even get me started on the 3D VR Glasses with accompanying “virtual hands”). But our latest toy is causing a bit of a stir, not just in the design community, but regular, common-folk households alike with the idea of it becoming common place in even my own mothers terminology. Welcome to the Star Trekkian world of 3D printing.Now, after we get past your initial, “ugh” sighs of there being yet another piece on 3D printing on the internet, allow me to entertain you, not with reasons why 3D printing will soon be commonplace, or how 3D Printing will save global commerce. It won’t. In either cases, and there are plenty of articles out there explaining why, but rather, the Top 11 things you will most likely print, now that you have a 3D printer.

11. Nothing. You thought it was a plug ‘n play thing didn’t you? Like that printer your wife got you last Christmas that prints all the photos directly from your outdated Casio point-and-click camera. See, while printing technology has advanced to the absurdity of automagical, 3D printers require a heck of a lot of knowledge to setup, run, and effectively create an object. If you have no knowledge of the 3D world, it’s programs, and multiple nuances, odds are this newfound printer will be as useful to you as a personal submarine is to someone in Idaho.

10. A mound of goo. Congratulations. You figured out how to make it actually do something. Unfortunately for you, that something is the modern day equivalent of a paper jam. On the bright side you could throw some paint on it, and give it to your dad for the age-old ashtray Fathers Day present, on the downside, all that material cost you upwards of $400.

9. The world’s most expensive desk puzzle. Trying to explain a 3D printer over family dinner falls onto the list of bad life decisions, not to mention the fact that even though you dropped a solid dime for this tin can, you haven’t had much success with it. So the next goto move would be to down a demo model that really shows off the intricate capabilities of your new, otherworldly gadget which in most cases is some annoying little puzzle game that will no-doubtedly adorn your desk for some time because you refuse to buy a Cosmojetz every time you walk into Design Within Reach.

8. Your super high-concept-social-media-driven-self-generating jewelry. Because of the high cost of materials, you have now decided jewelry is a good way to build some skills. Then, by pure accident you decide to throw some random math that pulls listings of #Sharknado into Grasshopper which translates it into a fractal mess that some hipster passing by happens to see and think was cool, offering you $10 for it. Suddenly, Ke$ha is all over Deadspin sporting your creation and you become the latest 15 minute 3D printing rage.

7. The (insert car/bike/chair here) of your dreams. I get it. You are an industrial designer, and for years technology hasn’t been able to keep up with your brilliance. This idea you’ve been struggling with in your head since college just isn’t ready for the world yet…or more correctly, the world isn’t ready for it. Forget material trial and error, what is this the 70s? Is my last name Eames? No. I want my idea out of my head now, or in the 16+ hours or so it will take the printer to make a 1/32 scale version of it.

6. Your own action figure. Since you fancy yourself a stud of a prototyping studio now, your buddy suggests during a craft beer infused happy hour that you purchase a 3D scanner. You do. And immediately upon arrival try to reproduce yourself, with action grip.

5. The Valentines/Birthday Anniversary present you forgot about. Since your significant other knows about your success with the 3D printer, (that is afterall how you met them, at the gallery show, of your latest piece of fractal wonder), you will have to produce something a bit more personal. Lucky for you, your recently purchased 3D scanner offers a wealth of possibility. See previous item for instance.

4. The knob/button/switch that broke off your retro television/radio/straticaster. Suddenly the honey-do list that pops up on occasion, most notably on Sundays during football season, seems a lot more manageable. The 1971 Zenith Cathode-Tubed Color TV in the basement that works and looks retro fabulous but has been missing the channel changing knob since you got angry during the ’86 Word Series Game 6? Fixed. The Atari 2400 in dire need of a power on/off toggle? Fixed. Even the gap in your 8 year-old child’s teeth begins to spawn options in your head.

3. A knife and spork. Once the new car smell of your printer wears off, and the tireless hours you are now spending in the studio begin to wear on you. What was once object d’art, is quickly becoming just objects, and much, much less art. Case in point. When you become overly immersed in a Core77 post, are about to dive head first into your lunch and sudden realize you left the silverware aaaaaaaaall the way back in the kitchen, somehow the fabrication of utensils is justified.

2. Another 3D printer. 3D Printers are so blasé. It’s time to move on. No longer does the sudden and rapid development of an object amuse you. In fact, it’s boring. If only 3D printers could just, do all the work themselves. Perhaps if a printer, printed another printer it would in some way become self aware and not need you at all. If only.

1. Anderson Davis. Clearly your thoughts have reverted back to pre-3D printing life

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