I received my first 3d printer last Thursday and after spending about 8 hours on Friday and Sunday assembling it I have used it to produce my first prints.  As an engineer I have been hearing about 3d printing for years, but until you experience it first hand it is hard to understand the power of this technology.

Prusa I3 MK3 Built from a Kit ($749 from the Prusa site, $1000 assembled)

The first items I printed were basic test prints provided by Prusa.  Then I experimented with downloading a design from the web, modifying it in a 3d CAD program (Fusion 360) and printing it on my new printer.  While 3d CAD is not something you can master in an hour this exercise was very successful.

The grey cable holder is the original the white cable holder was modified in Fusion 360.

After experimenting with 3d printing and CAD I started browsing the 3d designs at "thingiverse" a site for sharing 3d objects and found this delightful fully articulated, printed in place, butterfly.   (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2810756)

printed on a Prusa i3 MK3 in Hatchbox PLA with 15mm layers and 20% fill
remarkable how well the hinges work

This is all part of my journey to understand the "maker space", from making pens on a lathe, to 3d printing, to laser engraving I want to understand the potential of desktop fabrication and the business opportunities surrounding these technologies.

As part of this quest I am creating a new website/blog (drvax.com) and a youtube channel (drvax).  Look for exciting announcements in January 2019.