I Hate 3D Printing
Dec 25, 2012
As a consumer with limited funds (like the majority of Americans), I have a few options for satisfying my curiosity regarding 3d printing:
1. I can purchase a hobbyist-level 3D printer (MakerBot, UltiMaker, Cube, Solidoodle, Afinia, or other), invest tens of hours of frustration learning how to use it, print objects that fail to meet even the lowest of my quality expectations, and inhale enough toxic fumes to melt even the strongest of my remaining brain cells.
2. I can pay ~$100/month for a “membership” to have access to a plethora of technical tools, including a 3D printer, at a local TechShop (or hackerspace) – and still have to learn how to use the printer, deal with quality issues, and inhale fumes.
3. I can find a company or individual that has a 3d printer that would be willing to let me tinker with it and/or print something on it.
If I just want a print, I can spend $88.35 to order a miniscule model (1″ x 2″ x 2″) of what I actually want from a “printing as a service” company like Shapeways, Ponoko, i.materialise, or Sculpteo and wait impatiently for up to two weeks to receive it.
I also hear that Staples will soon (actually, years from now) have in-store 3D printing, which could feasibly help my situation; however, I don’t have years to wait.
That said, I don’t like my options.
… and that’s why I’m working with Dreambox to create a 3D printing vending machine to bring 3D printing to consumers.