questionswhat would you make with a 3d printer?

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I'd make a 3D printer that makes 3D printers, and on and on and on and on...until everyone in the world who wanted a 3D printer had one.

Then I'd secretly release the hidden elves inside the 3D printers who would collect everyone's gold and valuables and take them to my lair. Take that Bill Gates.

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@90mcg112: Most of the early hobbyist 3D printers were designed in a way where they could reproduce most of their own parts.

If I ever build a 3D printer I'll probably make one that extrudes chocolate, so I can make my own easter bunnies.

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I'd make sex toys. But I wouldn't sell them on deals.woot since that's not allowed.

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@kamikazeken: I almost added to my posting to keep it clean, but figured I'd leave it out, the community would not go there. Thanks for proving me wrong! LOL

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3D glasses. I'd hate to have a printer that would make stuff that would always look blurry.

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@mrmucox: You're the one with "cox" in his name. Just showing how low we can go here... :)

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I run the Rapid Prototyping machines (a.k.a. 3D printers) on my campus and help teach the labs for the Advanced CAD class. One student recently created models for a project to compare the resolution of different machines. It was a bust of Yoda. I so wanted to keep it.

@samstag: The CAD class just used one of the machines to create molds for chocolate bunnies, and various other chocolate treats.

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I'd use it to reproduce my sculptures for sale. Producing one of a kind art is just not a profitable way to sell your time. If I could spend a week on a sculpture then "print" copies on demand it could be very worthwhile.

If it could make 3D models from 2D images, I'd print up my favorite movie characters and stage life sized dioramas with dream crossovers.

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@moondrake: That's an awesome idea. The printer I linked to is looking into 3d Scanning as part of the package as well.

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@moondrake: The plastics used for 3D printing make that a little expensive to make a business out of. If you have the sculpture digitized you'd be better off using a CNC mill (which does the exact opposite of a 3D printer) to make a casting mold.

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@samstag: I've cast from molds in a number of mediums. The problem is the hours spent on finishing work. It's pretty much impossible for an artist to compete with mass market products. High end color printing has made it possible for painters to produce inexpensive prints to be able to recoup the hours spent creating the original. But with sculpture, there's no easy answer for reproduction.

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@mrmucox: Autodesk has released their free cloud-powered 3D Point Cloud software, 123D Catch. (http://www.123dapp.com/catch)
It turns a bunch of photos of the same object into a 3D model that can printed or turned into skins for animation, among other uses.

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@apocello42: Yes, that's true, but this will use light scatter techniques to make a high quality scan of the item in question.

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@moondrake: Unfortunately 3D printing tends to need more finishing work than casting.

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I'm sad that I don't understand all of this....:(

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Fascinating.

First thought would be to make models... my own designed models (I'd have to teach myself how to use the software) of cars, planes, spaceships, whatever comes to mind and then I'd paint them =)

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I'd make pieces for my projects that I can't buy and/or I think are too expensive or not customized enough for my use. Also, Star Wars action figures.