Desktop fabrication – or 3D printing – has long been touted as the next milestone in the tinkerer/hacker revolution. The goal is to bring 3D fabrication into home workshops, giving creators and inventors an immediate and (relatively) low-cost means to produce widgets and gadgets – the same way that home computers spawned a generation of profound inventions. Once exclusive to prototype labs, 3D fabrication, printing, and milling now seem poised to make a real foray into consumer-grade applications, with products like the iM-01 iModela, from Roland DG. Roland DG (a branch of the Roland Corporation, known for it’s music synthesizers), has over 25 years of industrial milling and production experience, so this new desktop size machine is a natural progression of making the means easier to acquire. From a machine that easily fits on a desktop, crafters, inventors, and artisans can create 3D shapes, patterns, and designs, out of a variety of materials including wood, foam, and plastic. The iModela connects to a computer via USB, and from there, it’s up to your imagination. We can’t quite say that home fabrication is a reality yet – the iModela is more of a digital hobby mill. But even so, it’s easy to imagine all kinds of new possibilities in collectible vinyl (or bootlegged Be@rbricks…). Even if this isn’t your thing, check out the relatively insane promo video that Roland DG has put together after the jump, if only for the touch-tone pop soundtrack.
By- October 28th, 2011