The last thing I expected to stick in my memory was a radio ad for a 3D Printer used to print fishing lures… I’m not an avid fisherwoman, but it piqued my interest. Curiosity brought me into the world of 3D Printers, or “3DP” as the enthusiasts call it.

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3D Systems

At-home 3DP is quickly gaining in popularity since becoming more affordable and easier to use. Several Kickstarter campaigns have helped introduce compact, domestic tabletop models for around $1,000 or less, with the goal of becoming a common household item in the near future. Hacker-types and creative minds are introducing new uses and products daily, with users submitting and sharing their own designs, in addition to the downloadable templates available with the printer.

The 3DP uses a cartridge of plastic or metal filament to create items like toys, figurines, games, scale model prototypes, apparel, medical devices, even customized shoes and spare car parts. And, of course, fishing lures. We’re only hitting the tip of the iceberg of 3D printing possibilities.

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Recreus sneakers made with Filaflex elastic filament.

Here are some 3D Printer manufacturers to check out:

  • M3D has the Micro, which comes in several different colors, and is the largest 3D Printer kickstarter ever.
  • Makerbot owns Thingiverse, a database dedicated to the sharing of user-created digital templates. They also offer in-store training classes in NYC.
  • Cubify also runs a store where you can purchase 3D printed items or templates for items such as guitars, shoes, jewelry, décor, GoPro holders, and more.
  • Printrbot is available on Amazon.com and offers smaller models for $349 and $599.
  • CGTrader – a 3D community where artists and designers showcase and sell 3D models, share tutorials, or you can hire a designer for a custom job.
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MakerBot®

Have you ever used a 3DP? We’d love to hear about it!

Janelle Vandriel

Born and raised in Canada, Janelle has managed multi-channel marketing projects for over 8 years. Her past marketing experience in Los Angeles included several national clients with a focus on integrated campaigns in the healthcare and sports industries, and nonprofit sector. Notable accounts include World Vision, American Cancer Society and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Forward-thinking and marketing-minded, Janelle has a strong background in business and brand development, print and interactive campaigns, account management, and marketing consulting for startups. At Davidson Belluso, Janelle managed accounts in her areas of marketing expertise, and drove process improvements to maximize efficiency. An American and Canadian citizen and personal trainer, Janelle is an exercise enthusiast and completed the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim hike.