I used to blog about the concept of mass customization, abundance and its value to the consumer. With the advent of 3D printing, mass customization is turned on its head with personalized manufacturing — which could still be thought of as customization by the masses.
Sometimes people ask me “What can you do with 3D printing?” or “I can’t think of anything I’d make with a 3D printer.” and say I would never do/need that.
I am constantly walking around my house and thinking there has to be a better way to do XXX. An example from the last week dealt with my CNC machine an old HP 7” Android table that I use to control it (through a VNC connection to the Raspberry Pi that actually control the device).
This tablet sat on my desktop and kept getting jostled around by the competing demands for desktop space, as my efforts shift from 3D printing to CNC to laser scribing — all on the same workspace.
I have a fairly large workbench with a cabinet above it, so I thought it would be ideal to have the tablet hang down from the cabinet at something slightly below eye level, where I could still open the cabinet and yet see the tablet.
Looking at commercial options, they were in the $20-30 (or more) price range, but I am cheap and creative, so I thought I could make my own solution. It looks like:
It hooks on the cabinet and then the tablet slips inside. Note there are no ‘fasteners’ in the design. It just clips into place.
The following picture shows the design implemented with the tablet hanging under the cabinet, yet far above the desktop.
There is no way a commercial solution could be created that meets my needs so exactly.
So if you are thinking about a 3D printer and have the creative juices and problem solving skills, the problems will present themselves every day and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it, putting up with those gnawing issues around you.
One of my mottos when I was working was:
"If it's not up to your standards, don't put up with it."
It still holds true.