3D printing store turns your ideas into real objects - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

3D printing store turns your ideas into real objects

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

If you can imagine it, you can print it in 3D.

Experts say the revolutionary new technology of 3-Dimensional printers is "game changing" and will change the way we live.

Just press "print" and out pops, whatever you want, really: an iPhone case made from powdered nylon, a unique designer lamp, an 18 karat gold ring--even a replica of a multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin! You can also design your own jewelry on a computer program--like a pendant—then, print that and wear it!

"This is going to change the way we make almost anything," says co-founder Julie Friedman Steele. "This completely disrupts the manufacturing supply chain."

That technology can be seen in Chicago at "The 3D Printer Experience," the only retail and interactive store of its kind in the Midwest.

To show us how it works, co-founder Mike Mocheri first scanned an image of FOX 32 reporter Amara Walker from every angle. That image was sent to the makerbot printer and instead of using ink, it dispensed a silver spool of plastic filament.

"So this works by having a filament that comes through nozzle like a hot glue gun," Mocheri explains. "So just when you pull the trigger, it squirts, squeezes out of nozzle onto a platform up and up and up."

Fast forward 20 minutes and voila, a 3D plastic model.

Artists, architects, and engineers are already using 3D printing, but co-founder Julie Friedman Steele believes it could soon become a common household item.

"Here we are printing in nylon, metal, plastic, paper, moon dust, chocolate, sugar human cells and human tissue," Steele explains.

The possibilities are endless.

According to experts, those possibilities could mean revolutionizing manufacturing, architecture, retail, and transplant medicine.

In fact, a team of engineers at the University of Toronto have developed a 3D printer that could dispense human skin to help burn victims, an engineer in Canada recently successfully built a 3D printed car, and President Obama, in his State of the Union address, said 3D printing could fuel high-tech jobs in the U.S.

Critics say these possibilities could also mean a threat to our security by enabling citizens to print guns in their own home.

For more information on "The 3D Printer Experience," which opens next Monday, visit their store at 316 N. Clark Street or check out their website here.

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