3-D printing is revolutionizing the world by allowing human to create items on their own. The possibilities are endless with this new innovation.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Ronni: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Ronni.

Ronni: Okay, but I know we’re recording this episode right before Christmas, so, my kids don’t know. But luckily this episode won’t air until after Christmas, so, it’s okay. But guess what? One of their main presents is going to be what? It’s going to be a 3D printer, and I’m super excited about it.

Brittany: It’s so cool.

Ronni: I know.

Brittany: Adopt me, Ronni.

Ronni: And I mean, I know I’m going to be playing with it too, but I can’t wait for them to be able to create their own toys instead of getting toys. So yeah, it’s pretty cool. So, the whole idea of a 3D printer when first was an idea of looking into this for our family, it really got me on the topic of thinking about 3D printing and what 3D printers can do because I was vaguely aware before, but then as I do often, I did a nice deep dive and started researching it. But okay, so Brittany for you? Yes. Do you remember the first time you either heard about 3D printing or you saw a 3D printer? Can you remember that?

Brittany: I don’t remember the exact time I heard of one, but I mean it’s had to have been years ago now. I remember watching a bunch of YouTube videos of people making just anything out of it. And I have this friend who is a mad scientist, he’s just a crazy inventor. Got, we talked about patents, couples, excuse me, episodes ago. He’s got patents for all sorts of cool things. And we used to hang out at his house a lot and he’d always be the 3D printer in the background printing something. It’s crazy. It’s so cool. They’re so cool.

Ronni: You may have seen a 3D printer before me, but I remember hearing about a 3D printer when I was young because my inventor dad was always aware of future technology, and so told me that, oh, one day you’re going to be able to print things in 3D. And I remember thinking, no way, that’s never going to happen. Or I just didn’t comprehend the idea of being able to make my own things, or maybe it just felt too far away that it felt impractical. I’m not sure.

Brittany: It feels so futuristic. It’s almost unbelievable.

Ronni: But I don’t think I saw one in person. I mean, sure, maybe I had seen one online, but I hadn’t really cared much about 3D printing until, I don’t know, not all that long ago, just a few years back or several years ago. And I feel like the first one I saw in person, I was at a fair for one of my kids’ preschools and someone had brought a 3D printer and it printed little candy and kids could pay a few bucks and they got a piece of candy that they designed. And so I’m being like, oh, that’s cool. But at the time I also was just like, okay, it’s a novelty that makes candy. I didn’t really understand all of the possibilities that it could become or that it become practical enough that people would actually have a place for it in their house, but I’m going to be very soon having one in my house, so living in the future. So, I was researching some of the things that 3D printing can do, and I dunno how you might already know, but what do you think is the coolest thing that a 3D printer can make of houses?

Brittany: Is that what you were going to say?

Ronni: Yes. No, but that’s the coolest thing so far. I’ve heard about it.

Brittany: Percent houses I’ve heard they’re experimenting more with, there was one that can make a pizza, the food idea. So, I was never a Star Trek fan, but I only remember my mom watching it sometimes, and there are a couple of episodes I remember, but they had this computer where they’d be like a computer, I want a milkshake. And it would just create milk, got a thin air, and I want to live in a world where I can be like, Hey, three, dear printer, even though I love baking, I like the process being like, Hey, I want a pizza. And it would just happen.

Ronni: Although I’m curious about that. So, because I sure do not know enough about 3D printing, but the little bits that I know, I’m thinking about the materials that would be needed. So, when they make the 3D house, because I was looking into this, by the way, listeners, in case you’re curious about how you 3D print a house, because usually you just think the 3D printer is not that big, maybe a tabletop size or something, but to make a house, no, they have this huge 3D printer different, it’s a huge one. It’s an outdoors one, but that uses a, it’s a concrete mix, so the material has to be somewhat malleable so that it can go through the 3D printer arm and then you have to, it’s the same kind of material usually. I mean, I suppose you could switch out the material with a different drum, but anyways, I’m going back to thinking about, I don’t know what I’m thinking about pizza with candy you can do because especially if it’s sugar-based, like powdered sugar based, you’re just using one.

Brittany: Which of the candy companies, I believe are some candy companies? That’s mostly just powdered sugar from what I heard. Yeah.

Ronni: So, the idea of 3D printing of pizza, it sounds futuristic, but I’m thinking how would you do that unless you 3D print bread?

Brittany: Separately? Yeah.

Ronni: Then yeah, then you assemble it separately. I don’t know. I’m going to have to look up that one more before I get all excited about it.

Brittany: Actually, I was looking it up looking, I can’t even speak looking it up right now. So, you keep talking and all at the end I’ll see what if I can get us update.

Ronni: But some of the other things I think are really cool are, so I was also reading about a guy who created his own clear retainer, like Invisalign call.

Brittany: Yes, yeah, I just wrote about that. Yeah, that was one of the stories I wrote about in 2016 when it happened. So cool.

Ronni: I know. I love it. But the guy had an idea and thought, can I do this? And then thought, what are the steps that are needed? So, he figured out how to do a mold of his teeth. He figured out what materials he needed to do in order to create the first kind of casing around his teeth and then how to change it as his teeth were moving. So, it was really cool. But one thing that I like is for my kids is toys. So, the 3D printer that we’re getting is actually specialized for kids and for toys. And so kids can go online onto an app and then choose a different toy. You have to assemble a lot of the toys, so you build each of the parts. And so kids can make their own toys. Of course. Another big thing is that there’s so many more things that you can build, and I feel like we probably could go off on much more tangents of this, but it definitely brings up, I know we were talking about patents before, and intellectual property and things that you can build, especially if with the 3D printer. So, do you remember when, of course, this was before us, but do you remember early printing, just at-home printing? Did you ever have a printer that had those little things?

Brittany: Yeah, on the side and the noise? Yes. And it took forever. Forever to print. We’d print like print shop was a whole thing, and we would print Tanners and yeah.

Ronni: So, I guess we should think of a 3D printer similar to a laser printer because when the laser printers came out and we could use them at home, that I think was the biggest game changer because it was no longer, it used to be like, let’s say you needed to make flyers, your dog got lost and you want to hang up flyers around the neighborhood. How did you get the flyers?

Brittany: Printed them?

Ronni: Where did you print them?

Brittany: I mean, our house, and much to my parents’ dismay because of the printer ink and the paper, it would take forever, but we loved that we could do it at home.

Ronni: But think about before we had printers.

Brittany: But before we had printers, it’s funny, I was watching a show that takes place in the sixties and they would have to design and print one thing, and then when Xerox machines, which is what copy the copy machine, that was revolutionary because if you knew somebody who worked for a place that had a Xerox machine, then you could go print multiple copies and it was like, oh my goodness. Yeah. And that was in the sixties. So, imagine even in the eighties and stuff, it was hard to do that you had to pay.

Ronni: I’m in my head right now. I am pushing together all the timelines of my life and how everything has changed. So, we got printers and then we were able to get laser printers and print things out more quickly, and then the internet became big and we started being able to buy eBooks online and then print them. I know in the homeschooling world especially, I have so many books that I purchased online, which of course you’re buying them, they’re not tangible items when you’re buying them as digital items. You’re just getting all the data of the file and then you get to print it through your computer and then you have the physical book. I mean it might not be on as fancy pages, but the same idea of you have the file and that’s what I purchased. I purchased a file and then from that file, I printed it out at my house. And I think that’s what’s going to happen a lot with 3D printers. Actually, it’s already happening because it’s the toy box 3D printer I’m getting from my kids is exactly what it is. You buy a file and then you get the toy. And I think it’s really interesting how that’s shifting that market.

Brittany: How much is the raw material for that that you put on? I’m assuming it’s like plastic, right?

Ronni: It is plastic. You know what? Because I got it as a whole package. I don’t even remember how much each of the spools are, but I think the spools are fairly inexpensive in the $10 range.

Brittany: And that’s the crazy thing you have to remember, the longer something is around, and the more people buy it, the cheaper it gets. When something is new in novel VCRs, which don’t even exist anymore for a cassette or a VHS tapes, I mean those used to be like, whoa. And they would cost hundreds of dollars actually. Now they’re expensive. Again, you can’t get ’em. So, that’s funny, but it’s just interesting that I mean, can you imagine if you told me 20 years ago that you would be able to 3D print something in your home and buy one of the spools, I think you called ’em for $10. That’s just amazing.

Ronni: Yeah, I know. So, it’s really crazy to think just how technology is changing and that 3D printing, can be this incredibly useful thing. And I think we’re at this really interesting place in technology and even in the market and figuring out, okay, now that 3D printing is becoming more of a regular thing and more households, well, I mean not many households, only probably people who are nerdy or geeky care about it at this point, but eventually more and more people will start having 3D printers in their homes. So, what can we do that, how does the market adapt to that? And just like the market adapted to at-home printing. So, I dunno, it’s just interesting cool, to think about it.

Brittany: I think it’s changing the world, right? Absolutely. There’s no question about it. So yeah, no, this is a really fun topic and I think 3D printing is only becoming more and more popular. And I did Google it, by the way. They are 3D printing a pizza. I did not see how they’re doing it, but yeah. Cool. Alright, so guys, really fun topic. Don’t forget to like and subscribe and share the podcast with your friends. And next time we will talk to you soon.

Ronni: All right, see you soon. bye.