Welcome to the Present

My friend Peter just emailed me a picture of the cookies he’d made for Halloween:

unfrosted

Frosted Bigfoot Cookie

While I always enjoy a good picture of food, I don’t usually get so excited that I want to share it with everybody. In this case, this is something amazing. Revolutionary, even, and that’s not a word I use lightly.

We’re seeing stories of the amazing things that are being done with 3D printers daily. A father making prosthetic hands for his son, for example, or a man designing a 3D printable handgun. Most recently, NASA is sending a 3D printer to the ISS so that astronauts can print the parts they need when they need them rather than wait for cargo to arrive on a rocket from Earth. These are amazing things to be sure, but not quite as amazing as Peter’s Frosted Bigfoot Cookie.

The story is simple. Peter wanted a Bigfoot cookie cutter. Instead of buying one, assuming one could be found that would be delivered in a timely fashion, Peter hopped onto his laptop, designed one, and printed it out.

cutter

Bigfoot Cookie Cutter

What’s amazing about this is that it is completely mundane. It’s a totally unremarkable situation, needing an everyday object that you don’t have. It’s a situation we all find ourselves in all the time. Since Peter had a 3D printer on-hand (purchased for less than what a black and white print laser printer cost in the 90s) he simply made a file and printed it.

This is why 3D printing is revolutionary. It’s something that can, and will be used to meet practical needs of our day-to-day life. Real revolutions happen in the kitchens of ordinary people.

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