We invited a handful of members of the 3D printing community that we have been featuring for #3DThursday or on our weekly 3D Hangouts live show to share with us their thoughts about the past year, what they each shared, and what they are looking forward to for 2015.
My name is Chris. I’m a Chicago area maker, 3D printing enthusiast, and wannabe Imagineer.
Here are a few recent projects:
- WALLY – Wall Plate Customizer. A favorite of mine, currently on display at the British Science Museum in London.
- 3D Printing School. I’m attempting to generate the content that wasn’t available when I started 3D printing.
- Customizable Cable Catcher. I was lucky enough to attend the Thingiverse Make-a-thon this year and created this design while surrounded by some of the most talented 3D designers ever!
Q: TOP THREE PRINTING MOMENTS FROM 2014?
- 3D Printing in space!: It’s pretty amazing to see something that I picked up as a pretty unknown hobby become such a huge new technology and reach the offices of NASA! I’ve had a lot of fun printing objects that have been sent to the ISS. Some of which I’ve even created myself because they haven’t been officially shared yet.
- 3D Printers in libraries!: Maker spaces have become WAY more prevalent in public libraries and I think it’s super exciting. I think it’s great to see the availability of these machines in more public spaces, and I’ve yet to see a public demonstration that hasn’t pulled in every age in the area. It’s really tough to not fall under the 3D printer’s spell when it’s printing near you.
- 3D Printers in retail stores!: I still have a hard time believing my eyes when I walk into a big box hardware store and see a 3D printer whirring away on a display stand. I’m really excited to see this technology slowly reaching out to “mainstream” audiences. Plus the more people using 3D printers the more people I have to geek out with!
Q: WHAT’S A 3D PROJECT YOU SHARED THIS YEAR?
I’m really happy I had the chance to put together the files for my 3D Printable Proton Pack Parts. My friend Chester and I built these packs a couple of years ago for Halloween and used my old Thing-o-matic printer to create some very hard to find parts. I finally got around to collecting and cleaning up all the printable files for this prop build. I learned an incredible amount of “handyman” skills during this project (including not to spray paint sheets of insulation foam and how to use Bondo). As well as how 3D printing can replicate parts that either no longer exist or that I just plain can’t afford. I’m hoping that other 3D printer operators, prop builders, or people looking to build an awesome Halloween costume can get some use out of these files.
Q: WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR 3D PRINTING IN 2015?
More 3D printer operators!
I can’t wait for more people to jump on to my favorite hobby. I’m always looking for local people in Chicago to talk/discuss 3D printing projects, but the community is still somewhat small. I’m excited to see the community (online and offline) grow and find more cool artists, engineers, designers, and inventors to chat and collaborate with.
I’ve only begun to stick my toe into the ocean of interesting printable materials. I’m still 95% invested in ABS printing but I’m excited to see what new things will be released this year.
A lot of the things I design and print on my printer are inspired by other 3D designers. So much of what I’ve learned in 3D printing is because of other users sharing their ideas and designs. I’m very excited to see what the 3D printing community has to offer and share in in the coming year. I could hardly keep up with the amazing posts in 2014, and imagine 2015 will be even better.
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! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. 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!