3-D Printing: Holy Crap, It Sounds Cool

Did you know this was on the horizon?
The New York Times reports:

The next frontier will be the home. One company that wants to be the first to deliver a 3-D printer for consumers is Desktop Factory, started by IdeaLab, a technology incubator here. The company will start selling its first printer for $4,995 this year.
Bill Gross, chairman of IdeaLab, says the technology it has developed, which uses a halogen light bulb to melt nylon powder, will allow the price of the printers to fall to $1,000 in four years.
“We are Easy-Bake Ovening a 3-D model,” he said. “The really powerful thing about this idea is that the fundamental engineering allows us to make it for $300 in materials.”
Three-dimensional printers, often called rapid prototypers, assemble objects out of an array of specks of material, just as traditional printers create images out of dots of ink or toner. They build models in a stack of very thin layers, each created by a liquid or powdered plastic that can be hardened in small spots by precisely applied heat, light or chemicals.

Some ad agency will get a hold of this and do something cool with it. What would you do with it?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Package design firms would probably benefit most. ALso, you could probably do short run or custom one-off 3D promotions with it.

  2. Golem100 says:

    Sounds less like Star Trek than “A for Anything” by Damon Knight.
    (published in 1959. http://www.ereader.com/product/detail/5585)

  3. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the pointer, Golem100.

  4. Susan Schneider says:

    The article compares it to the Star Trek transporter. It’s more akin to the replicator, though limited to what can be done with nylon powder. Very cool.

  5. I heard that a bakery near Chinatown is developing Pizzas so thin they can be sent through Fax machines!

  6. OrlandoFred says:

    These machines have been around for years.
    this is not new technology.
    Cad Design Professionals have been using them for a long time to Produce Prototype 3d Designs.
    There are no real practical uses for them in the home.
    This Whole Story is a load of B.S.

  7. bldkcstark says:

    I agree. These things are not useful for home. They use one type of hard thermoplastic that most consumers do not find friendly. Many shapes cannot be made due to the physical size and the limits of the strength of the media. I have used 3-D printers before, and they are great for manufacturing and design houses, but the part that comes from the printer is usually useless besides seeing if the design fits where it is supposed to. Most places throw the printed item in the trash as soon as they are done checking the fit and function, and have it made out of a useful material. How much use do you think a girl would get out of a hard plastic doll that does not bend or have hair? Mine would be happier if I made one out of a stick, and it wouldn’t cost me $1,000 for a printer and $9.95 for the designs. These won’t make items free. Any item you are trying to repair will cost you for the blueprints, and you stil won’t have it made from the correct materials.