It was so interesting. I was able to see lots of different 3D printers in action and see an amazing array of 3D printed objects. For some background on what 3D printing is, check out the blog post from Feb 2015 Tech Trend: 3D Printing
If you have never seen a 3D printer running, here is a short video I took at the Expo of a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer creating an object: Makerbot 3D Printer at work.
There were many artists and creative people at the Expo displaying their creations. I saw 3D printed toys, art, jewelry, housewares, shoes, clothing, and even musical instruments. One company takes a scan of your feet and then prints 3D shoes that perfectly fit your soles.
Another company is doing the same thing with earphones which I think is a great idea – who hasn’t had trouble finding the perfect earbuds that stay put and are comfortable?
Most items are made from plastics but some 3D printers can even use metal.
The filament, which is the material used to create the objects, comes in an endless variety of colors and sheens.
A wonderful volunteer organization, Enabling The Future, specializes in creating free 3D printed hands for children and adults who have who have wrists but no fingers, or elbows with no wrists.
The most fun thing being printed at the Expo was people! At the Shapify booth, a person could step onto the platform of the whole body scanner, and in 15 seconds have their image captured. For $169 this image can be used to print a figurine of the person. It’s a 3D portrait. Of course I wanted to get scanned for the fun of it, but I’m not sure I want to order my figurine. It’s a lot of money for something I’m not sure what to do with. But I could envision bringing my whole family for a group portrait – now that would make a unique gift for a loved one!
We are curious to know if Touro students and faculty have an interest in this technology. Have you used a 3D Printer? What would you make if you had one? Let us know in the comment section.
Photos by Laurel Scheinfeld.