Comic Time

I drew a comic for you here:


Whenever I have to tell people about 3D printers, it inevitably turns to the question: “What would you print with it?” The reactions I’ve gotten have both been imaginative and cynical. The other day, I summed up the cynicism the snarky remark by the dog above: that we spent $2000 on a machine that makes $1 parts. Though accurate about the current state of affairs, I think it’s short sighted.

In 1970’s, when the first microprocessors that enabled home desktop computers came out, most people didn’t know what we’d do with it, even those in the tech industry. As is commonly attributed to Gordon Moore:

“In the mid-70s, someone came to me with an idea for what was basically the PC. The idea was that we would outfit an 8080 processor with a keyboard and a monitor and sell it in the home market. I asked: ‘What’s it good for?’ And the only answer was that a housewife could keep her recipes on it. I personally didn’t see anything useful in it, so we never gave it another thought.” – Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel


Despite all the examples on thingiverse, the honest answer is we don’t know exactly what we’ll be using this for. If I was working in the 80’s, and someone told me about networked computers, I probably could have come up with email or chat. But I would have never have foresaw Twitter or Facebook. In the same way, we want a 3D printer so we can figure out what it’s good for, and chances are, it may not be what we think.

To see what 3D printers are good for, sharing, remixing, and collaboration will be important as part of our collective exploration. Enabling that process and reducing friction is the role that Cubehero will play. 


As an update, I was able to incorporate the visual difference algorithm in the commit browser, so you can see the history of commit diffs. In addition, I’ve made significant progress on being able to parse OpenSCAD files for rendering. For those of you more technically inclined, I’ve ported the Backus-Naur Form in the OpenSCAD project to javascript to generate the abstract syntax tree. I will release it as an open source project soon, so you too can parse OpenSCAD files for giggles.

Until next time, I hope you’re all happy and well. Keep on printing!


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