Someone should have definitely told me about this sooner! Two weeks ago, cruising a news site online, I stumbled on a headline about 3D printing. What in the world? I cannot wrap my head around the words at all. Google…… take me there and explain it to me because I must live under a rock. I’m usually on top of anything that has to do with photography or “printing”. The news story reveals to me that we now are able to “print” in plastic, three-dimensional objects and these “printers” are available to the common man for around $2,000.
I need to know HOW IT WORKS, but unfortunately our job is very hectic right now, so trying to figure this all out was put on hold and I lost track of it from my mind completely, until this past week.
As the “Queen of Coincidences” lately, why was I surprised when one of these 3D Printers showed up at work last Monday!!
Several members of our Engineering department have joined us here in the sunshine state this week, and while they were busy setting up their computers, I noticed a box on the floor that said, “MakerBot: Replicator 2”. Ok, fancy engineering stuff. Not interested.
It wasn’t until they unpacked it and set it up that I realized it was one of the infamous 3D printers from the news story! OK, now I’m more than interested. And it has very cool blue lighting, which makes it seem even more magical.
First off, they make a chain. I’m watching it grow off this flat surface and I still can’t come to grips with this. I didn’t take a photo of the chain they made because we’re busy and I’m still all gaga that this thing is actually only 6 feet from my office door. But this is exactly what they made. This photo is compliments of the Thingiverse.com website where you can find all sorts of plans.
This is for work after all, so they set up a bracket that they may need to fabricate. The MakerBot will create it in plastic so it can be checked for detail and fit. It it’s good, then it can be fabricated from the proper material required for the job. This is just a short video I took so you can see and hear it working.
After a few hours, this is what the finished bracket looked like.
That night, I visit thingiverse.com to see just what mankind’s imagination has come up with for this new marvel. Definitely interesting to see what people have to share. With all the categories to browse, I find myself not able to leave the jewelry section. My doubt that one could actually create a stretch bracelet was put to rest the next day when one of the guys kindly made one, right in front of our eyes!!
So there you have it. If you live under a rock, like me, this is all some big revelation for you. If you’ve heard of them before, I salute you, and you’re probably wishing I’d get back to the RV stuff. I’m finding out that although all the WordPress gurus tell you to keep your blog focused, I’d rather write about something that really excites me. Even if it is slightly off the normal topic.
Sadly, the gist of the original, first news story I read was that some people have decided this new technology is perfect for fabricating guns, and/or gun parts, as they are undetectable and untraceable. They showed several weapons, and how they were pieced together from smaller “printed” pieces. More fuel for the gun control debate is what it said to me. If you google the subject, there is much to read and some of it is downright scary.
The past two weeks have been filled with more work hours than I care to remember, one extremely nasty cold that still lingers and even a kidney stone thrown in for good measure. I’ve missed my little corner here, and just had to find the right bit of excitement to share with you.
Until next time, Happy Trails,
Janet, Randy and Molly