Here’s a 2013 prediction near and dear to my heart, though I must admit that I read statements almost identical to this around the same time last year. But seeing these popping up in more and more in publications not firmly rooted in the maker movement and desktop 3D printing is encouraging and speaks to what is definitely happening as opposed to what might happen: awareness about desktop 3D printing and it potential ramifications continues to widen — to the larger tech culture world, to education, and to the part of mainstream interested in machines and technology.
Take a look at the other predictions as well — some interesting questions to consider while you are thinking forward to 2013.
It’s Star Trek technology or primitive replicators coming to our century. Printing was, for years, limited to the business environment. Eventually it arrived in homes to consumer users. But, the next step in printing comes in three-dimensions — 3D printing — giving users the ability to ‘print’ (with lasers and computer-aided cutting machines) items for machines, computers, and even body parts.
It will only be a matter of time before home users will be able to download schematics and blueprints from the Web and create their own products from their home office as the technology becomes more simplified.
It’s a distance away yet, but 2013 will see a dramatic rise in the 3D printing sector, along with the associated ethical issues with it. Should you be able to print a firearm at home? Should 3D printers be used with stem cells to build body parts? And should the schematics or blueprints be offered through ‘pirate’ sites? Where there will be 3D printing, there will likely be strict regulation.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.