"I believe this is an amazing time to be a designer, an artist or simply a maker. The tools that we now have access to continually blow my mind to the possibilities in front of us; this is the stuff of science-fiction inspired by the texts of Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick; and 3D printing is – for me at least – especially fantastical."
This is Brendan Dawes, a former-raver and artist. In December 2010 Brendan Dawes bought and built a Makerbot 3D printer. Since then he documents all his projects and his adventure with Makerbot Thing-O-Matic on his site "Everything I Make with my MakerBot".
Brendan Dawes worked as a commercial web designer before, as an artist and designer he is creative. But he is also like most of us - no industrial engineering background. "It took me a week to assemble my Makerbot, but remember that when Jobs and Wozniak and those guys first started out, you had to make your own computer." He found fun and value in this tool and became a 3D printing enthusiast.
Lucky for him and all the makers and hobbyists, we have website like Thingiverse that everyone can upload pictures of their creation and share their design for free. Dawes is one of the frequent visitor on Thingiverse.
One nice example that Dawes made is this pen clip for a Field Notes Memo Book. Dawes found one on Thingiverse. But he preferred a pencil clip for his Blackwing 602 pencil instead of a pen clip, which is slightly thinner. He was able to download the 3D models from Thingiverse and tweaked it to his desired size, and even added a cap for the pencil.
This is what 3D printing can bring to a common consumer. You have a tool at home that you just make some randomly handy stuff. The feeling that you sit waiting your design to be ejected from the 3D printer is especially fantastical. And for Dawes, this layering of innovation upon innovation is just thrilling.
Dawes kept records of his failures and successes on his diary-like website, things like cable wraps, a bicycle mount for a camera, clips etc are all listed with explanation and photos illuminating what can go wrong and how you can take steps to avoid it. At to his favorite tool the Makerbot 3D printer, he said "Don't expect it to be trouble free — we're not yet in a place where you can order a plug and go 3D printer from Amazon in the same way you might buy a microwave; this is for people who don't mind spending time building things, solving the odd problem, taking things apart and tinkering. If that's you, I think you'll love it. "
Gallery below are some little examples Dawes has made.
An egg cup:
A camera mount for a bicycle:
iPod Nano holder for the car:
Duplo based cable dock:
A few household items including a key ring with name plate, a MoviePeg and a Carabiner that works with the key ring; a clip and a desk-tidy system.
A cute cable wrap:
Image credit: Brendan Dawes
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