The first thing Duann Scott does when he arrives at the Shapeways factory in Long Island City, Queens, is check the bins. They are yellow and stacked in an all-white room that resembles the interior of a spaceship, and they contain the latest prints to come out of the machines, which can really stack up.
Shapeways, a 3-D printing service and online marketplace, has been described as the Amazon of 3-D printing for its on-demand model, if not its outsize volume: The machines spit out about 120,000 objects a month, a tidal flow of design that runs from the mundane to the astonishing.
On a recent day, a quick search through the bins revealed a pair of pliable black-frame eyeglasses, a scale model of a biplane, an intricately detailed brass ring, enough plastic train cars to form a miniature railroad and a figurine of two tiny purple women on tiny purple trapezes. To what use any of these things will be put, Mr. Scott usually has not a clue. But that doesn’t diminish the Christmas-morning grin he gets while he is fishing through them….
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.