3D printing is here to stay. Personal 3D printers are already available for non-outrageous prices. And like so many technologies, they’re only going to get better – and cheaper. Already, the low-end models give you 200-micron precision and 16 colors, while the high-end models are printing parts for F-18 fighter jets. Plastics are here; other materials, like metal, are coming.
I don’t have one yet, but I’m sure I’ll buy one when the price goes down a little. But what could you make with a 3D printer?
Here are seventeen ideas off the top of my head:
- The best Halloween costume ever, custom-designed and perfectly fitted to your body.
- 3D fractals! Ben, are you listening? 😀
- Picture frames, exactly the size and shape you need.
- Jewelry of all kinds: bracelets, necklaces, even rings. Any style you can imagine.
- A voodoo doll that looks just like the person you want to, er, vent your frustration on. Disbelief in the voodoo is handy for removing ethical complications!
- Action figures of underappreciated characters.
- Refrigerator magnets. Go wild.
- Personalized Christmas ornaments.
- Miniature replicas of famous places like Westminster Abbey or the Arc de Triomphe, or not-so-famous places (like your own house!).
- Sculptures: no longer limited by sculpting ability.
- Trippy, psychedelic juggling balls. (Glow-in-the-dark printing materials are already available!)
- Paper clips shaped like Cthulhic tentacles.
- One word: cosplay. (Or is that two words?)
- Custom PC cases sweet enough to put Alienware out of business.
- N-sided dice for your D&D sessions.
- Bookends! A dragon’s-head bookend for the fantasy shelf, a sandworm bookend to complement your sci fi collection, a bust of Ada Lovelace for your programming section. For those of us who still have non-digital books. 🙂
- Wedding centerpieces that look like Ambassador Kosh. Because why would you not do this.
So tell me – what would you make with a 3D printer?