3D printing the future (& cookie cutters)

This week we’re pumped to have our first guest post from Jerry Berg, known to many as Barnacules Nerdgasm on YouTube. As a Das Keyboard user and fan, Jerry’s here to share his insight on the 3D printing trend…and cookies. Keep reading for the full story…

My name is Jerry (aka. Barnacules) and I produce Barnacules Nerdgasm on YouTube (http://barnnerd.com). I am about as nerdy and geeky as they come and have a huge passion for all things technology. A few years ago I discovered 3D printing through a series of YouTube videos showing how large corporations were rapidly prototyping parts using these giant machines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and it amazed me. It was like seeing a Star Trek replicator in real life only much slower.

The problem was these machines were way outside of the consumers hands due to cost, space and power requirements and I knew it was a pipe dream to think I could ever own one. About a year ago my friend Eric who works at Bungee studios as a graphics artist told me about a printer that he had purchased called the Ultimaker that fit on his desktop and extruded plastic filament into just about any shape imaginable and the best part is this printer could be owned for around $2000.

You could imagine after this discovery I flocked to Ultimakers website to order one up! I’ve printed literally hundreds of things both decorative to functional since I’ve had the printer and it still amazes me every time I power it on. Now in the last year 3D printing technology has come down in price to become even more affordable. I recently picked up a Robo3D printer (http://robo3dprinter.com) for ~$700 and it is not as fast as the Ultimaker and it might not be quite as high resolution but it does a great job and is proof that the demand for the technology is driving the price down.

Now as you already realize the holiday season is upon us! This means that it’s time for me take this opportunity to impress my wife with my 3D printing abilities to ensure she won’t fight me on future technology purchases. To accomplish this goal I am going to make her a Turkey shaped cookie cutter since she is an avid baker (and I love cookies!). To accomplish this goal I simply go to www.thingiverse.com, type in turkey, grab a model and go! I could design my own model but that would take time away from this awesome blog I’m writing.

It blows my mind you can simply download something and print it into physical existence. This is the second cookie cutter I’ve made for my wife and she gets excited now every time I fire up the 3D printer. And everyone knows the saying ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ and I can verify that statement is 100% true! The utility of having a 3D printer is unbound; if you can think it and 3D model it you can own it and can touch and feel it with your own hands. I don’t know about you but this makes me really excited to see what the future has in store for us if this type of technology exists today and can be wielded from your desktop.

I can still remember when I was a kid and dots matrix printers came out and I was fascinated that you could take text from the screen and apply to paper in the real world. I’m starting to understand how my Grandpa must have felt when the first computers came out. Kids will undoubtedly take this technology for granted someday but I’m honored to have seen it come into existence and look forward to seeing it evolve into the future!