Maker Faire 2012 New York - Attack of The 3D Printer Bots
One of the big attractions, a technology area that has experienced explosive growth recently, is the land of 3D Printing. MakerBot took the open source RepRap 3D replicator project mainstream back in 2009 with the release of the Cup Cake CNC machine, then came the Thing-o-Matic and then a little bot called Replicator. With each iteration, improvements in process and technology are bringing better, more capable 3D printers to market, from MakerBot's new Replicator 2, to new machines and technologies in the field from Solidoodle, Up!3D, Ultimaker, and Tinkerines.
MakerBot's Replicator 2 is a proprietary design, a first for the company and a first in a field that historically established its roots in a passionate, collaborative open source community model. Most commercially available 3D printers today are delivered unassembled and as such, modifications and improvements can be introduced easily, spurring new designs, features and capabilities.
To watch a 3D printer in action is like witnessing art, science and engineering all working together in glorious unison. And regardless of your geek status or lack thereof, the objects you can design and build with one of these machines will blow you away. Watch...
MakerBot's Replicator 2
The Netherlands-based Ultimaker
Ultimaker 3D Model Results
UP! 3D Mini Printers and Model Products
Solidoodle 2 (left) - Tinkerine Ditto Acrylic (right)
As you can see, some of the models being built at the event were absolutely amazing. Ultimaker's human statue models were especially stunning, with intricate detail previously only produced by sculptors and artists manually. Some of the mechanical structures like gears and other types of machinery just wowed us as feats of engineering marvel.
We're going to be watching this space closely in the months ahead and may even coordinate a "3D Printer Round-up" of sorts. Stick around!