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I Witnessed 3D Printing in Real Life! It Was Awesome!

3D printing is to production and distribution what the internet is to information and knowledge.

I witnessed real 3D printing in real life two days ago while visiting with a product engineer about a new product idea my bro and I are working on.

The printer was pretty freaking awesome. The part the engineer was working on will make the inventor millions! It was so sweet, and my mind hasn't stopped imagining the possibilities since I was introduced to 3D printing several months ago.

So instead of ink running through the printer, there are very tiny diametered plastic fibers on a spool...kind of like a welding wire through a MIG welder, but on a smaller scale. With any 3D file from Solidworks or any 3D modeling program, the 3D printer can print it out, just as it looks up to a size that fills a 6" cube. Other more expensive printers can print larger objects.

I'm going to buy one as soon as I can afford it to prototype all my inventions...and yours too if they're good enough! ;)

Does anyone have any experience with Solidworks or any other 3D modeling programs?

Most people around here are already familiar with 3D printing and the work being done by Defense Distributed out of Austin, TX, but I just thought I'd share this and see if any folks here at the DP know much about 3D modeling. Any resources you could offer would really be appreciated. I have an extensive background in marketing, packaging, design and graphics, but I've never worked in 3D.

I've posted about creating an Industrial Incubator before, but I'm starting to think why invest in all that machinery I can't afford if it already exists nearby. I just have to build a network of libertarian inventors, investors, vendors, designers, and manufacturers. It's an ambitious goal, but there seems to be no shortage of creativity around here!

Once I figure out and perfect a system for bringing our ideas from concept to customer, which theoretically could help create more libertarian millionaires, I'll be looking for other entrepreneurs who want to get started on making their ideas become a reality.


My small business.

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I outsourced the entire part to a company....

...that specializes in car badges. I did the initial vector artwork which they turned into a 3D model. Yes, they're injection molded, and mass produced with traditional manufacturing. They then have the part chromed, and a spray mask is applied to paint the red only. I get the parts complete finished, unpackaged. I then package them up, and ship them out to fellow liberty lovers! I do this all from my 2 bedroom apartment while maintaining a full-time job!

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


Hey, pretty cool. Very

Hey, pretty cool. Very entrepreneurial. Best of luck to you.

So *you're* the creator of those!

I'd get one, but Paypal isn't an option for me.

What programs, if any did you use if you don't mind me asking?

But yeah, had a similar idea. Start small, get to the ambitious stuff later. Figure I could even sell/barter some creations at fleas markets/local stores, since I already do that with other stuff.

Could make toys for the nieces and nephews too. Finally, a homemade gift that isn't a sweater!

The one you described in your post, any idea on a ballpark cost or cost to build?

A signature used to be here!


I feel you about online payments, or PayPal in general. I only added PayPal at the request of several customers. I prefer WePay, an up and coming rival to PayPal. I've had nothing but great service from them, and their payment system is so simple and very inexpensive.

I did the initial renderings in Photoshop and Illustrator, and then the vendor/manufacturer produced the 3D files. I'm not sure what they used. I raised money by preselling units based of the Photoshopped graphics, an $18 website, some excited friends, and a little street-cred I've built up here at the DP and at RPF.

I'm still in the preliminary design and conceptualization stage on my new invention. The product engineer I was working with said the part will probably cost around $6-$8 to produce here in the US, but I still need to pay for the 3D modeling and design assistance, the tooling, and the first production run. I'm hoping for around $15000-$20000, I can get started. If I could produce my own prototypes and 3D models, my cost could be substantially reduced.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!



Thanks for the WePay link...going to have to look before I leap though.

Usually, I just pay a friend/relative a few FRNs to buy something online for me, since I don't deal with credit, checks etc. Probably end up just doing that when I grab the sticker.

LOL, I think I'm the last person on Earth who hasn't used PhotoShop. Mostly stick with Google SketchUp, Kerkythea, and good old fashioned MS Paint.

I'd be using the 'printer' more for making scale model buildings and such, maybe make a few toys out of some of the spacecraft I've designed for games over the past few years than anything...well, anything useful. In any event, I'm sure I'll end up breaking something in the process.

Have you tried holding a moneybomb or any other form of crowd funding for the 15k?

A signature used to be here!

Usually 3-D printed items are

Usually 3-D printed items are OK for limited runs and prototyping, but for high volume runs traditional manufacturing methods can't be beat (I'm sure you already know this).

For sure!

Yeah...my only intention is to cut costs on the design work and prototyping to be able to iron out all the details before I approach professionals. I just want to be able to start prototyping my concepts to test feasibility and to troubleshoot.

Thanks for the comment!

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!