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Jesse DePinto in 3D

Jan. 16, 2013
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Jesse DePinto and Matt Juranitch are the brains behind 3D Creations, one of the first 3D printing storefronts in the world. 3D printing is a technique by which solid objects are created from digital models using specialized robots that lay down successive strata of material. DePinto attended both Marquette University and UW-Milwaukee, studied astrophysics, supernovae and radio astronomy, opened his own company (hookahhomes.com) and worked for Rockwell Automation. Juranitch is a member of the hacker group DC414 and a world-renowned locksmith. As an inventor, he's created both self-watering planters and laser microphones. DePinto spoke with Off the Cuff about chess pieces, Barbie dolls, printing out airplanes and self-replicating robots.

A 3D printer? The first thing I think is, ‘Man, how much must that printer’s ink cost?’

Maybe one day the 3D printing industry will make all its money suckering you into their "ink." But for now you can buy 1 kilogram of material for under $50 with which you could make, say, 400 chess pieces.

Rumor is, your printers can produce their own parts.

We have built a few 3D printers whose parts were made mostly on other 3D printers. There is a worldwide organization of open-source tech gurus called Reprap who are creating a “rapid prototyper” that can replicate most of its own components. That's where most of today’s innovation for low-cost 3D printing was born.

Also Master yoda?

Also Master Yoda. (Visit link to see the 3D printer in action: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_vloWVgf0o&feature=player_embedded.)

Besides that, how are 3D printers superior to the wax machines at the zoo?

The wax machine can only make objects it has a mold for. With a 3D printer, you can download hundreds of thousands of models on the Internet (most of which are free) and instantaneously create a new object every time! It also has the potential to allow economically feasible mass-customization.

Nice segue. On a larger scale—what is the value of 3D printers to American society, the larger world and the future?

Theoretically, you can create anything you can imagine—like a broken car part or household appliance. Online shopping would definitely change. Instead of receiving a tracking number and waiting for the postman, imagine watching a robot create your purchase in front of your eyes. Why would you ever run to Wal-Mart? And while it can make you a new Barbie doll, it can also print planes, houses, tools on Mars and even human organs! This isn't science fiction either. There is active research to 3D print everything I just mentioned. And get this, we are close to completing a desktop 3D scanner that can replicate and modify existing tangible objects. Think of it as a 3D copy machine!

So basically every Wisconsinite could print out his or her own Packer cheese gear?

You got it. Everybody in the state basking in glory with a robot-made cheese head and championship belt—within just a few hours of the game-winning field goal.

For further information visit 3dcreationsllc.com.


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