A museum exhibit shows how 3D printers may soon be the next required home appliance.
The use of 3D printing in manufacturing, while still in its infancy, is finding its place in product prototyping, customization and even whipping up a replacement part. The medical arena also has seen a variety of applications, using the technology to create synthetic skin and low-cost prosthetic parts. More recently, some companies have discovered how to print out a meal. Naturally the next step is to make 3D printers for home use.
To encourage widespread adoption of 3D printers, startup Becoming 3D has partnered with The Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science to create an exhibit that shows families how 3D printers work and the printers’ diverse applications.
The goal is to show families that in not so many years, 3D printing will be convenient and affordable. “I see it as being the next thing needed in the house,” says Michael Aguinaga, the museum’s public programs manager, noting 3D printing can be used to replace or repair items in the house or build a part. "And for kids, it (use of 3D printers) unleashes their imagination…it’s a new way for them to express themselves.”