Friday, September 1, 2017

Why is 3D Printing Cool?

This video kinda serves as a little bit of a report about my community interactions, and a little bit of introspection that I've been having lately. A series of pictures from those events will follow.

When I think about 3D printing, and more particularly why we think it's okay to get together ostensibly about 3D printing, it strikes me as odd. After all, a 3D printer is just a tool. Do we get together about riding lawn mowers? And yet 3D printer meetups we don't blink an eye at. And I think I've figured out why.

First of all, 3D printers are a magical. It starts with an empty plate and fills up with whatever you want, that's a show you'd pay to see in Vegas. It also fills up with exactly what you want it to, what you designed in the computer, that's pretty magical.

Secondly, 3D printing has something for everyone. Not only can 3D printing do the job of other similar tools, at least in the terms of output it produces, but it can do it for more people than any other tool. Chances are there's someone using 3D printing for something that you really don't care about, and that's wonderful.

Third, The barrier for entry is lower than it's ever been, and it just keeps getting lower, which means that it's becoming accessable to more and more people.

However, there's a final point that I didn't think about until after I was done shooting the video, and it's kind of a dark one. 3D printing is a bit abusive. It doesn't work the way we expect it to at first. But that's actually a good thing because it means that if you're going to succeed at it, you're going to need to connect with other people, get community support, and in the process, find a family. This will probably be less true in the future, it's already less true than it was in the past, but nevertheless there you go. By being difficult, 3D printing forces to you find family.

So there you go. 3D printing. It's awesome, and it deserves to be.

Here's some pictures from the St George Board Game Con and Washington County Fair that I attended:
The medals for the St George Board Game Con, printed in plastic and brassfill.

My booth at the board game con. Is it obvious I have no idea what I'm doing?

Scan of two kids, one with a unicorn horn, and the other with He-Mans sword in his hand, added in post.

My booth at the Washington County fair
 If we ever meet IRL, remind me to tell you the story about how I got this particular booth. It's a little scandalous.
Met a fan. Which one of us was more excited?

I should do more of these. It was super easy, only took an hour

This lithophane almost looked as good without the light behind it

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