24: Creating

A Thousand Things to Talk About
24: Creating

Today, we’re talking about creating.

Specifically, what would you make if you had a 3D printer?

Show notes and links:
History of 3D Printing (

Full episode text

The history of 3D printing tracks, in many ways, to the history of computing, offset by a few decades. The first patent for a rapid prototyping machine was filed in 1980, with the first commercial product launched in 1987. It wasn’t until 2007 that a relatively easily available 3D printer was made for under $5,000.

Today, many maker spaces, public libraries, and individual hobbyists all have the ability to prototype – or now manufacture – a nearly infinite number of things out of plastic. 3D printing processes in metal, glass, and even sugar are becoming available.

While the sometimes joking response to this question can be “more 3D printers”, that was actually one of the first plans for a rapid prototyping machine – self replication.

Much like computers and programming becoming more widely available today, or reading and writing becoming more widely available in long past history, the proliferation of available manufacturing is a huge change, and one that you can participate in. A 3D printer will even be sent into space to help astronauts solve problems on the fly.

So if you were to have access to the ability to make whatever you could think of, or if you’ve had the access to one of these machines, what are you choosing to use this superpower for?