This Instructable could be a "Game Changer" for people like myself who sometimes need many copies of small, highly detailed parts. In my case, to help with those models. 3D printers are great for many things, but some things, not so great. In the past, the only other way I could make small parts was by hand, with a high-pressure injection molder (which I don't have) or cast them in resin.
By hand is tedious, my eyesight isn't what it used to be and it takes what little time I have away from other things.
Resin is brittle, costs $150 per gallon, has a shelf life measured in weeks and makes a horrendous mess every time I use it.
Injection molders are inexpensive, clean, easy to use and take up little space. But, they require metal dies. Metal dies are made with machinery called "mills". Mills are horrendously expensive and take up lots of space. They also produce tons of oily dirt, and require years of training before they can be mastered.
FORGET TEDIOUS, FORGET RESIN, FORGET INJECTION MOLDERS, FORGET MILLS
YOU HAVE A 3D PRINTER... YOU CAN MAKE INJECTION MOLDED PARTS IN ABOUT AN HOUR... NEATLY AND FOR FREE:
With your printer, the filament that's sitting on your shelf and the demonstration mold I provide, you can make an injection molded "proof of concept" part without adding, modifying or removing a single thing on your printer. And it will only take about an hour from start to finish.
This is one cool paradigm shift for people who love making things with their 3D printer, but also want small, highly detailed parts or jewelry, far beyond the printer's limited resolution capabilities.
Don't have a 3D printer? Don't worry, you will. As of this month, Staples is selling them, and within 2 years, I predict you'll be able to pick one up at WalMart. 3D printing is having the same growth cycle as the microwave oven had (remember when those came out?). All "WOW factor at first, but in everyone's home within a couple of years.
Enjoy the descriptions and images I have so far. And while you're waiting for me to post more information, please vote...
Vote for anyone... But preferably me :)
This is a new idea and new ideas need data. Negative feedback is actually more valuable than Positive. And don't worry, I'm very comfortable with criticism. You won't hurt my feelings and you may have a better idea we all can use.