They did “The Ultimate (3D printing) Bridge Test”. They had no idea of what may happen next.

New 3D printing demo opens huge market to makers /img/3dprint-bridging-test.jpg

Just joking, of course. But not much. Here’s why: Fabbaloo explains that the object in the picture above is a “seemingly impossible-to-print 3D model developed by Gordon Laplante… as a means of demonstrating the ability of their 3D printers to successfully execute a ridiculous number of bridges.”

In this context, the bridges would be all the horizontal bars of the object. It is quite difficult to 3D-print horizontal segments that are really straight like those in the picture. Doing it so many times in the same print is even more difficult.

That’s why Fabbaloo defines that model as “pretty amazing”.

They’re right, but the first thing I thought when I saw that picture was…

New 3D printing demo opens huge market to makers /img/3D-printed-dishwasher-baskets.jpg

Oh BOY! Someone finally managed how to 3D print replacements for all those dishwasher baskets that break so early, and are so hard to find! About time! Fablabs will sell millions of those!

In other words… I can’t stand any more 3D printed Darth Vader action figures. But I can’t wait till fablabs and makerspaces worldwide start producing and selling, on-demand, spare parts for stuff that non-makers use every day. Or whole assembly kits of home appliances that last FIFTY years, for that matter.

PS: I and the other members of the DiDIY project will share our findings on these topics next June, in Milan. You are all invited to participate!