Plastic Thing Maker Makes a Hit!

You think the arsenic eating bacteria are weird?

How about this?  Back in September MakerBot released the Think-O-Matic 3-D printer, essentially a computerized plastic object maker–like the StarTrek replicator!

I was going to say that I predicted this in Into the Dark, but when I looked for a quote I saw that I’d deleted that scene.  Stan McPherson uses a device like this to make parts for the Nomad, except that it fabricates Carbon Fiber preforms instead of plastic objects.

Unfortunately, I cut that part out of the manuscript before sending it to the publisher.  It was kind of a geeky scene and broke into the action.

Oh, well.

The thing is, this device (which this article describes as a fad gift item) is bizarre, futuristic, and CBD (cool beyond description).  Can you imagine the things folks could do with this thing if the price ever comes down?  Even at that price it is useful, just not as a common household item.

Kirk: Spock…scan…the planet…for cool…gift ideas.

Spock: Captain, this is unusual.  It’s off the scale.

Kirk: What is it, Spock?

Spock: (looks up from his scanner thing) They have a device that makes little plastic bunny rabbits.

Kirk: That…can’t be right.

Spock: (raises eyebrow) My scanner is functioning…

Kirk: (waves hand) Nevermind Spock.  Can you transport one up?

Spock: Sir, it comes with a pair of toy tribbles.

(crew all looks at each other)

Kirk: TOY tribbles?

Spock: Yes, Sir.

Kirk: Perfect!  Just the Christmas gift for my Klingon friend!  Lock on and beam it up!

Spock: Aye, Aye, Captain.

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~ by Bill Housley on December 6, 2010.

3 Responses to “Plastic Thing Maker Makes a Hit!”

  1. !!!! I always knew Star Trek was stealing my toys !!!

    And if you want a bigger metal bunny, you could always have MTT make you one in their Selective Laser Melting machine – I discovered this awesomeness at an aeronautical conference.

  2. I know they’ve had 3-D printers for a while, but according to this they’ve discovered how to make it much more independent!
    Lol, I liked the bit of Star Trek dialogue.

  3. That is so cool that a machine like that is now available to the public, I had no idea that rapid prototyping had reached the point where the machining capability could be available to everyone. Currently there is only one rapid prototyping business in Utah, but I’m sure it will take off from here though.
    CAD software is about to get much more popular!

    On that type of note, if you go to wikipedia and search for things like rapid prototyping, 3D printing, and stereolithography, you’ll find a lot of similar awesome things.
    I think the most awesome thing I just found was the RepRap project. …It’s a freeware project where the goal is to make a rapid prototyper that can then make all of the parts necessary to build itself, there by enabling communities, and saving them the need for expensive industrial infrastructure.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RepRap

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