Today Show: Top Rated 3D Printers
The 3D printer is becoming cheaper, smaller and it could even be in households across America in the next couple of years.
Glen Durene, of Popular Mechanics, stopped by the Today Show to explain how a 3D printer works. He said the machine takes a corn-based plastic and melts the plastic down. Then it uses the image you have put into the computer to slowly squirt out the plastic, similar to a printer using ink to print something, which it layers until the object is complete.
Durene said right now the only way to tell the machine how to make a 3D image is with computer programming. But he said one company, MakerBot, is working on a 3D scanner which will allow you to scan an image and then make a 3D copy of the image.
Today Show: 3D Printer Makes Comb In 11 Minutes
The Today Show used the printer to make a comb but they wondered why someone would take 11 minutes to make a comb when they can be mass produced in seconds. Durene said if you want a regular comb, it would be best to just buy one. But if you want a unique, specialized comb that has a certain feature others do not, the 3D printer is the best way to make it.
Today Show: Cost Of 3D Printer
Although they might be in homes in the next couple of years, Durene said 3D printers are still costly right now. The printer on the Today Show cost around $2,200, but Durene said there are also 3D printers that only cost around $500. He said the hope is to bring the price down over the next couple years to allow people to have these in their homes. Since being introduced in the 1980s, Durene said the printers have gone done in price quite a bit but still not to the point where it would be considered affordable for a family.
Today Show: 3D Printer Can Make a Gun
While looking at all the products a 3D printer could make, Matt Lauer wondered if a person would be able to manufacture the parts of a gun with the printer. Durene said it is possible to print out the parts of a gun which could be seen as a good thing for gun manufacturers or as a downside for people who would print guns in their own home.
What would you print if you had a 3D printer? Let us know in the comments.