What is a 3D printer good for?

What is a 3D printer good for?  I assume this is a question most 3D printer owners get asked repeatedly and I’ve never been quite sure how to respond.  Somehow the media has convinced many people that 3D printers are only useful for making guns and useless plastic trinkets.

So here’s how 3D printing has made it’s way into one of my hobbies, summer backpacking in the High Sierra.  This is a picture from my last trip, and it explains things in a way I can’t with words.  There are about two dozen different designs and over 50 printed pieces of plastic/rubber.  This is not a “walter the plastic boy” style made up shot, I’m a real person and these are the things I carry with me on summer backpacking trips.

 

Summer-Backpacking-Prints-1L

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Intro

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I’m still figuring this out, but I’m hoping to use this site to share my experiences with 3D printing and similar topics. This will mostly consist of pictures, techniques, comparisons, and any other info I think will be useful or interesting (both what works, and what doesn’t). No news, no meta-stories (stories about other peoples stories), and no click bait (probably). I’m more comfortable with a camera than a pen, so expect more pictures (click to see in full size) and less text. Objects I’ve designed will continue to be uploaded to Thingiverse, where they can be more easily found and downloaded (http://www.thingiverse.com/walter/designs). Anything else maker related that I think should be public will probably find its way here. I hope you’ll find this useful.

More info about the picture above can be found on Thingiverse, only left Ollie and right Ollie are printed, center Ollie was made in ceramic the old fashioned way by Linda Hsiao (my sister). Ollie will show up here as a frequent test subject.

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