Chris and Benj have been busy lately building a 3D printer. And here it is.

3d printer2

Not too shabby, as they say! I’m incredibly impressed, both with their labours and the final result. I can’t even begin to tell you how it all works. It’s like magic to an arty type such as myself!

3d printer1

3D printers have been around since the 1980s but it’s only recently that their prices have come down to sensible levels. They cost anywhere between a couple of hundred and a couple of thousand euros, depending on how much or how little of the construction you’re prepared to do yourself. The rolls of filament you need with which to create your 3D items are roughly €20 and easily obtainable online.

There are many reports on their cost-effectiveness, and it’s the general opinion that a printer will pay for itself fairly quickly since you can knock out replacement parts for household items or machinery, thus meaning you don’t have to fork out for expensive components or even buy a completely new item when it proves impossible to find the spare you need. That’s something that happens rather too often these days in this China-made world of ours. You can also make gifts, decorations and gizmos of all sorts.

Chris has already made a casing for a camera, some geocache containers, some extra bits for the printer itself (here’s where it gets freaky and Douglas Adams-ish – you can even use your printer to print you a bigger and better printer!) and a host of Minions, hence the title of this blog! I’ve mentioned once or twice that we’re very fond of the Despicable Me films with their Minions. Well, we now have a Minion cookie cutter…

 

3d minion cookie cutter

and a model Minion…

3d minion

 

plus a couple that didn’t quite work out and so will end up as decorations on the Christmas tree.

3d minions trial runs

The world’s your oyster when it comes to what you can make with your 3D printer. Sites such as Thingiverse.com are full of the downloads you need for making soapdishes, toys, jewellery, spools, boxes, pen holders, bag clamps, lemon squeezers, buckles, Star Wars cufflinks and cat ears, to give just a few examples. With the help of programs such as SketchUp you can design your own stuff to print out.

Awesome or what!