I have a Thing-O-Matic!!
Or rather, I have a pile of the parts of a Thing-O-Matic. My slightly delayed Christmas present this year (and by rights should be my present for the next few years, it’s worth more than just one year’s Christmas) was a Thing-O-Matic – one of the leading horses in the home 3d printer race. A weird half-way house between Star Trek replicator and inkjet printer, once I finally manage to assemble all the pieces, I will be like Mickey in the Sorcerers Apprentice – able to set it printing 3d models of buckets and brooms, endlessly repeating as long as it has a steady stream of ABS plastic to spew out.
In the meantime, I’m going through the wiki of assembly instructions, slowly and painstakingly putting it together. This isn’t a slight against the instructions or the ease of assembly – simply that I’ve never assembled anything more complex than an Ikea chest of drawers, or a beginners soldering kit. That I am making progress is testament to the newfound accessibility of home 3d printing!
And what will I print first? An egg cup. Mundane, I realize, but I don’t have one and the sheer practicality of being able to print something so useful, appeals to me. Because while consumer 3d printing seems to be stuck between providing either custom parts for mechanisms, or weird looking jewelery, I believe it’ll be the things that people haven’t realized they can do with it, that will be the big important push for it. I’ll be there, taking part, printing stuff, and getting into the sorts of trouble that only a heated automated build platform (or a pointy wizards hat) can get you into!