Born on 1/18/2012
If you have been living under a rock for the last little while you may not yet be aware of Kickstarter. In a nutshell, people post “creative” projects, ask for funding from the public and then reward supporters somehow if the funding goal is met (if it’s not, nobody pays). To the rest of you who already know all this - congratulations on being hip and current. There are a ton of interesting projects on kickstarter, a bunch that are really wacky and everything in between.
I’ve backed a few different projects so far, some for a couple of bucks, others for a bit (or a lot) more, but the one I’m most excited about is printrbot. Actually, scratch that, because it’s more like giddy with excitement. printrbot is special in a couple of ways, the first being the crazy amount of money it raised on Kickstarter – more than 3300% of the original $25,000 goal, making it the most successful project so far in their “technology” category – and the second being that it is local, based out of Lincoln, CA. I had the chance to meet the founder/inventor last night and see some of the printers in action.
The point of the printrbot project is to bring 3D printing to a level that is affordable and achievable for the average person. And what can 3D printing do? Well, just about anything! You can print replacement parts for things that break, useful things to have around the house, or just some fun things for no reason at all. The possibilities are almost endless. Or to put it another way, remember when you got your first inkjet printer and all of a sudden a whole world of printing opportunities opened up? This is the same, except the printer makes real, fully-formed objects. This is a home-use Star Trek replicator (sort of).
So, that said, if all goes according to plan my printrbot kit should arrive sometime next month and I can start printing things shortly thereafter. Ideas? Broken things around your house that you can’t find a replacement for? Need a bust of Stephen Colbert? Say the word.