3D Printing a 3D Printer
A relatively new technology, 3D printing seems to be taking the nation by storm, or at the very least capturing the imaginations of creators, makers, and entrepreneurs alike. 3D printing is a manufacturing process by which three-dimensional objects are created layer by layer from a digital model. In conjunction with the current popularity of DIY and social trends such as the Maker Movement, 3D printing is helping to facilitate a new wave of ingenuity and innovation.
This summer, the Portola Valley Library brought some of the action to the public by hosting two live demonstrations with 3D printing experts Brent Thorne and Elle Stapleton. The fascinating part? Their printers can print more 3D printers. By printing the parts for other printers, these machines are essentially self-replicating! Further, their use of open source tools and simple machinery allows this technology to be accessed by anyone.
A. Hafele is fascinated (and sometimes terrified) by 3D printers and their potential applications.