Earlier this week, MAKE published its Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing, which explains what 3D printing is and what you can do with a 3D printer. The heart of this special issue is a side-by-side review of 15 different low-cost 3D printers.
Tomorrow I'm participating in a live chat with the editors of Scientific American about 3D printing. Here are the details:
A live 30-minute online chat will begin at 12:30 P.M. Eastern on Wednesday, November 28 with editor and tech maven Mark Frauenfelder of boing boing and MAKE magazine, who will discuss what you might do with a 3D printer, a machine that can copy the specs from a digital computer file to fabricate a solid object layer by layer.
Frauenfelder will answer questions about whether 3D printers will become a revolutionary new technology like the personal computer or smart phone, or remain a toy for hobbyists. Will a 3D printer ever be able to function as a digital hardware store, printing out new parts as needed? An alternative scenario: It might just spit out cheap plastic tchotchkes. The theme of this chat was inspired by a skeptical blog post by Scientific American senior editor Gary Stix, which drew several contrary reader responses. We invite you to post chat questions in advance below.