Is There A Plastic Object You Want Right Now?


We have one at home. It was my partner's one wish for his birthday.

I don't think anything of value has been produced, yet, because a) you have to put the thing together first, and b) there is a shitload of tweaking and fussing about to do before you get things working smoothly. He's been having a great time, tinkering and running down from upstairs to show me one of the many plastic objects that are slowly beginning to look like the things they were designed to be. And I nod and get back to Slog.
The nice fellows up at Metrix will rent you theirs.
wait... how does keeping your salt shaker upside down make it stop leaking?
Damn it, now all I want is plastic objects right now!
@3: I'll guess that it's a breech-loading model, and its bottom port isn't working well.

(The Vow of the Comedy Bodhisattva: 'I will not complete a joke until every sentient being has got a good straight line.')
Note: the next _real_ milestone in home fabricators will be when they can build more fabricators.

Then we need a dependable source of raw materials; I want to make a {"Diamond Age"}-referencing joke here but it would be a massive spoiler.
Jen - you're thinking of Metrix Create:Space...

And, yes, you can rent time on their Makerbot (and other stuff, like their laser cutters and who knows what else) if you don't want to pony up the $1300 :)

We're already there (kinda) -- the project is called RepRap (as in Replicating Rapid prototyping machine). Coincidentally, I helped assemble an early version with Bre & co. in Brooklyn in 2008.
Given another generation or two, I expect the Makerbot will revive my childhood hobby of radio controlled cars in a big way. Just think how much fun it'll be to design & manufacture custom parts and entire kits... and if I crash two of them head-on at full speed, won't that be awesome, as opposed to completely tragic, if I can just print all the replacement parts?
@3 Salt *shaker*. Unless the holes are ginormous the squarish crystals will block them up and no more salt comes out.
@5 aren't there usually holes in the top of salt shakers? I appreciate the consideration though.
@10 damn that must be a "ginormous" leak then. ahhhh fuck it never mind.
oh hooray - I can't wait to see all the crap rejects at Value Village.
or, I suppose you can re-melt the plastic..but still..
As neat as 3D printers are, RepRap-level ones just aren't very useful yet. Give it another 10 years. But the laser cutter they have at Metrix is *great*.
If you just want to repair your salt shaker instead of replacing it with a new one you should get sugru.
Uh, 'scuse me, but doesn't anybody read the NY Times? And do we have to suffer a bad derivative rehash of it by none other than "Miss Pretentioso" herself? Been there, done that, only by someone else, no gracias.
FYI-could somebody pick her up a new salt shaker at Goodwill and shut her up?

Note: More local diversity in this column, please!
Yay!! A DIY dildo is on the horizon!
If you're interested in Makerbots and Repraps, you might want to join the Seattle Makerbot/Mendel meetup:…

I've been building a Reprap and it can be done for $400-800. It's a bit trickier to build than the Makerbot but you'll learn a lot about how they're put together.