Other Machine Co. Othermill (About $1500)
Desktop manufacturing isn’t limited to 3D printers. The Othermill brings affordability—and portability—to computer-controlled milling with a three-axis machine that’s smaller than a toaster oven and about as quiet to operate. The mill uses standard ⅛-inch shank bits, such as those used by Dremel rotary tools, to cut away layers of metal, wood, wax, and plastic from above. Thanks to high tolerances of up to 0.001 inch, it’s well-suited for creating electronic and mechanical prototypes.
Makerbot Digitizer 3D Scanner ($1400)
One of the companies that made it easy to turn data into matter with 3D printing is making it just as easy to turn matter into data with a 3D scanner. The Digitizer creates a high-resolution 3D image of any object that fits within its 8 x 8 x 8–inch scan space, and then turns it into a virtual 3D model for editing and printing. At $1400, the Digitizer costs a fraction of the price of industrial scanners and can sit on a desktop. When used with a 3D printer—such as its sister product, the Replicator 2—it effectively becomes a Xerox copier for solid objects.
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!