3D Printers

The 3DPI Team is Growing – Mike Molitch-Hou

The thing about the 3rd dimension is that it’s so ubiquitous that you can hardly even distinguish it from the other dimensions.  It was only through looking at 3D images that I realized how magnificent the world of 3D really was.  Ever since I was a kid growing up in Chicago, I’d been into holograms.  My godmother would take me to the hologram shop at least once a summer and I would end up tricking her into buying me a holographic image of a wolf or of a vampire or of a wolf turning into a vampire.

Years later, when I turned into an adult, I started making 3D pictures myself: holograms, phantograms, and lenticulars.  Then, while skimming my Google news feed at work one day, I read about 3D printers.  The phrase “3D printer” didn’t make any sense to me until I read what it was.  It was something that could take a digital file, a 3D representation, and transform it into a reality.  When I compared the 3D images I’d been making to the technology of 3D printing, I realized that my holograms were just that: holograms. They’re not tangible. They’re not real.  3D-printed objects, then, seem to represent something that the human mind is always trying to accomplish: making mere concepts and representations into a reality.  Well, there’s something intrinsically fascinating about that idea that doesn’t require you to be an engineer to become instantly interested.  And that’s exactly what I am: not an engineer.

As 3D Printing Industry’s newest writer, I have only an outsider’s understanding of the technology, which, I think, gives me a sort of advantage. I bring to the table my outside, non-technical interest in 3D printers and the ability to connect 3D printing to the world around it.  Rather than give you an insight into, say, what hybrid printers mean for the specific industries of 3D printing and manufacturing, I will try to give you more of a global insight into the technology’s implications.  What does 3D printing mean for everything? How is 3D printing connected to Buckminster Fuller or what is the relationship between DIY bioprinting and the commercial sector? What does building an open source, 3D-printed robot say about being human? I read a lot of Philip K. Dick so I have a lot to say on that topic.

So, whatever the news I’m covering, I will try to examine the world of 3D printing from a unique perspective.  I’m not saying that I’ll always be able to pull it off, but it’s worth a try. Wish me luck!