Ever since I was a child I dreamed of being able to push a button and make as many building blocks… or missiles for my GI Joes… or extra pieces for my Transformers as I wanted. This dream inspired me to create a career in plastics. Mid-1990s I was introduced to the first of the large industrial 3D printers, and I have closely followed their development and deployment since then.
I became aware of efforts to create a “home user” version of these machines in around 2009, but the price and utter lack of “things to print” stopped me from buying one. For the last 4 years I have toyed with the idea (pun intended) of buying a machine… but time and time again I have not been able to justify one… nothing to print. I have to CREATE things to print.
And I really didn’t have time for that.
Well this round of unemployment has unlocked my desire to NEVER. AGAIN. be at the mercy of the company I work for. It’s time to strike out on my own and bring an idea to fruition, and reap the rewards therein.
As with the Laser Disc, VCR, Home Computer and other technical marvels, price isn’t the only objection to overcome in the market place. I can buy a 3D printer for $600 and start printing… that’s comparable to an early Personal Computer like the VIC-20 or an early VCR. Problem is… what do I do with it.
Just like those early PCs you have to MAKE your own programs. PCs didn’t become a must-have until the advent of inexpensive premade software. Same with VCRs. Once the market was flooded with programs people wanted to watch, they too became a must-have.
In order to bring 3D printing home for the masses, we need libaries and repositories of patterns and programs ready to print at the push of a button. You come home from work, the last thing you want to do is spend two hours fooling with a pattern… you want to hit GO and have your new object form before your eyes.
That is my intent with Pieces Unlimited. Today, we start with compatible building-block patterns (NOT DIRECT COPIES) and patterns for replacement parts for vintage toys… Tomorrow, we work on original ideas for the home printer. Pre-programed. Debugged. Ready to run.
In order to make this happen, I will need your help.
Over the coming weeks I will be launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise money. First action item will be to buy an inexpensive 3D printer. Second action item will be to launch a website and media presence to aquire and distribute community sourced toy patterns.
The final stage… who knows. This has the potential to revolutionize 3D printing. Do we stick with just toys and building blocks? Do we branch into other home-printable must-haves?
The future, is unlimited. But we can only get there one piece at a time.