I like airplanes. I like 3D printing. I like robots. I like Kickstarter. And it’s all coming together these days. There are Kickstarter airplanes, and 3D printed airplanes, Kickstarter robots, and many other variants. The 3D-printed airplane guys are students at the University of Virginia. After seeing their 3D-printed jet engine (an unfueled demonstrator), the Mitre Corporation gave them some money and said “Make me an airplane!” And they did.
This is all fitting into a larger story about American manufacturing that, despite its rah-rah appeal for politicians, appears to be the real deal. Here’s Mayor Bloomberg opening a Shapeways factory in Brooklyn. Shapeways is a company that specializes in 3D printing for the masses. That’s you! That’s me! It’s actually happening. I recommend some jewelry by Bathsheba Grossman. Although I have to say, after sifting through the Shapeways blog, the thing that impressed me most is this video of artist Ryan Kittleson sculpting Success Kid. Now you can have your very own.