Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Picking Up And Moving Forward!

This blog was created in 2007. Even back then it was evident that 3D printing was going to be inevitable. The only question was how soon and how costly.

It was started in May of that year. And, it continued until December of that same year when, with the sale of Desktop Factory to 3D Systems, the maker of the V-Flash, it became apparent that it was going to be a while before 3D printers would be affordable to consumers and artists... the groups of most interest to me.

Fortunately, Cathy Lewis, the CEO of Desktop Factory, who is now Vice President, Global Marketing, for 3D Systems, never turned her back on the quest for an affordable 3D printer. And, neither have her superiors. In fact, 3D Systems, a maker of high-end systems, has embraced the low end marketplace by acquiring and marketing the Rapman, 3DTouch and BotMill products!

Equally fortunately, some creative and innovative individuals have also worked hard to bring the costs and complexities of owning a 3D printer down to well under $1,000. One of the more intriquing products in terms of both cost and simplicity to build is the Printrbot, by Brook Drumm.

So, the time has come to pick up the dream, dust it off and begin anew to explore a budding industry that may be surprisingly near to that tipping point where it will become as common as color laser printers in homes and businesses.

While I plan to pick up one or more 3D printers, this blog will not focus on any particular brand. At the core, it will be about 3D printing, not 3D printers. Of course, we will talk about the 3D printers we use because that will be our primary experience. All we can promise is that we'll just do the best we can to explain anything and everything that we discover as we trot off on our own 3D printing adventures.

We'll also do our best to encourage developers to come up with new 3D design programs that create printable objects with user interfaces that are a LOT easier than those on the market now. For 3D printing to thrive, we have to have intuitive 3D software tools. Again, there are some promising developments in this arena, too. But, those products that seem most promising also seem to have limitations when it comes to producing a mesh that lens itself to object printing. But, this WILL change. And, we will try to follow the progress of bringing the hardware and software requirements to a successful synergy for consumers and artists.

Our background is video and photography. So, we will try to capture as many videos and high quality stills that we can to explain what we are seeing and experiencing. When things go wrong, we will try to visually document what, why and how fix it.

Finally, we will try to search out and identify as many resources on the web as we can find. In fact, while we wait for our first 3D printer to arrive, that will be our first task. It's amazing how many wonderful and enthusiastic 3D printing resources have come to exist in just 4 years.

This is going to be fun! A LOT of fun!!

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