Welcome home George Jetson, your time has arrived. Do hate having to buy brand new objects just because some little plastic thingy broke? Are you tired of pulling a redneck fix on your TV stand using gummy bears, tooth picks and duct tape? Do you wish you could make really cool things out of plastic? Do you like the smell of melting plastic in the morning? Do you hate articles that start with 7000 questions that have little to no meaning and just run and run and run and run? If you said yes to all or even one of these questions, allow me to introduce you to the Maker Bot Thing-O-Matic.
The Maker Bot Thing-O-Matic is a 3-D printer that can print in plastic from any computer designed object. Enter the Star Trek lecture of ‘going boldly where no man has gone before’ and crazy Star Trek sound effects. ‘Computer please make a plastic whistle, thank you.’ Not quite as cool as making a five course meal in a pill, but its a pretty cool start. Especially for people like me who are just finding out that the new cell phones have more colors than green and black.
So are you wondering how it works? Do you wish you could afford it? Do you…sorry doing it again. While still some time away from just talking to your computer and instantly getting what you want, the magic happens after running design software and creating a 3 dimensional model of your desired item. From there, you pretty much just click print. Out pops a 3-D print object from the Maker Bot. Which makes it a super duper next-gen CNC power tool. Its just that simple. . . mostly. There are some technical chops required though, particularly in the design phase.
As The Maker Bot prints its 3-D image it heats plastic wire through its extruder and layers it two dimensionally until it creates the 3-D image you created. What looks like a futuristic dot matrix image coming out of the printer one line at a time finishes as a pretty cool object (assuming you designed something cool).
Check it in action in this kitchen lamp repair video:
So this CNC power tool, The Maker Bot, fits on your kitchen table and costs about as much as a very nice table saw, or ,in the case of my life – my car ($1300 USD). Not bad for something that will pretty much trump every other guys tool collection in the neighborhood.
While it can only make things out of plastic there are still many things that could be made or remade to replace pieces around the house like the video above. I just can’t wait until they develop one that can print products using iron ore that then come out to be made of gold. The printing technology is here, we just need the alchemy to go with it!
More video fun (and an entertaining overview on the Maker Bot) here:
You can get your own Maker Bot 3D Printer straight from the Maker Bot store for $1299.