3-D printing isn't that different from the 2-D printers most of us have near our desks or at the office; instead of printing a single layer of ink on a sheet of paper like 2-D printers, 3-D printers print layers of material (usually plastic) on top of one another, building up the printed image from the bottom up. We have written a lot about 3-D printing here on MNN, from weird 3-D printed objects to 3-D printed food and even a 3-D printed house.
I saw a pretty mind-blowing video over on Boing Boing of a 28-geared animated cube that was 3-D printed in place (meaning it was printed in one pass with all gears in place with no assembly required or even possible). Check this out:
Like remote sensors, 3-D printing is going to be hugely important in the future. The technology is still in the early days of its infancy and is bursting with potential to shake up and disrupt industries all over the world. Why buy something from the store (or even Amazon) when you could pay to download a printing plan directly to your printer (or a local 3-D shop)? How about printing a grilled cheese sandwich in your car? Or printing a moon base?
One of the beautiful things about 3-D printing is how easy it is to share designs. You can download a 3-D model of the 28-geared cube over at Shapeways for $89.63 and print off copies for yourself.
If you're into 3-D designs and models, make sure to also check out Thingiverse, a website that allows people to share their 3-D design models.
Via Boing Boing