If you've ever attended a World Maker Faire, the first thing that strikes you is how organic the whole scene is. Inventors, creators, and engineers from all walks of life have their gadgets, science projects, and creations on display for all to see. Some of the creations you see on display range from downright amazing to completely bizarre. One of the big attractions, a technology area that has experienced explosive growth, is the land of 3D Printing. MakerBot took the open source RepRap 3D replicator project mainstream back in 2009 with the release of the Cup Cake CNC machine, then came the Thing-o-Matic and then a little bot called Replicator.
With each iteration, improvements in process and technology are bringing better, more capable 3D printers to market, from MakerBot's new Replicator 2, to new players in the field like Solidoodle, Up!3D, Ultimaker, and Tinkerines.
To watch a 3D printer in action is like witnessing art, science and engineering all working together in glorious unison.