Dec.31, 2012

Back in September, Swedish company Teenage Engineering started posting its 3D CAD files for the knobs and plastic parts of OP-1, a battery powered pocket music synthesizer in their library section so that users can download as blueprints to make their own replacement parts. The files are provided in both STEP and STL format.

Teenage Engineering is the first company offering 3D printable files to users at no charge. Will other manufacturers follow this trend and offer CAD files for replacement parts? Up to now we haven't heard of any yet.

But there are plenty of the OP-1 Synthesizer fans out there. One of them is Shapeways user Pretty Graffiti. He designed a 3D printed stand for the OP-1 Synthesizer, a handy accessory that keeps the OP-1 Synthesizer at a comfortable position. However it is not so cheap as you think, EUR 44.56 each for printing in "white strong and flexible" material - you will need two of these (one for each side) for the stand to be functional. And you also need to order two bolts to attach it to your OP-1.

(Images credit: Pretty Graffiti)

For now Teenage's customers could have 3D printing service companies make and ship the part, because not everyone has a 3D printer at home. But in the future they could just print and make the part themselves.

Though there are challenges that could stop manufacturers from offering CAD files, it is great to see personalized manufacturing is on its way. In the new year more practical application of 3D printers will help drive the wider use of 3D printing. We will see much more variety of products, innovative products and solutions in the near future, thanks to the time and cost savings they can bring.

It is almost the end of the year 2012, we would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year! We thank you for all your support and feedback, and we hope you will step into the new year with joy, health and prosperity.



Source: Shapeways



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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