Idle daydreaming about 3d printing Answered
I love the idea of 3d printing, and would love to make it a hobby at home. I can afford the machinery, I have the space, but I don't have the time to gain the required expertise.
I have a laser cutter, but most of what I make is effectively two dimensional - design takes a while, but not an age. For more complex shapes, there are online generators for boxes and gears, which I can use as starting points to my finished objects.
What I would *like* to see is a combination of existing technologies - image and motion-sensing devices with virtual and augmented reality - to allow a kind of digital sculpting.
My hands would be monitored by cameras (say, a Kinect), and in my Google Cardboard I'd be watching a "solid" object being sculpted.
Like 2d drawing software, there would be a library of shape-drawing tools - discs, cuboids, spheres, rods and planes - as well as the ability to manipulate a lump of virtual clay, or draw surfaces and edges in space and have the software fill them in.
I would then be able to save those sculptures and 3d print them, or slice them up, or reduce them to to surfaces to laser cut.
Since I'm dreaming, I'd like to be able to take hold of a curved surface in my model, and flatten it out to be cut, with the computer automatically drawing in one of a selection of living-hinge cuts to make it possible to curve the surface in the real world.
Just putting the idea out there. Maybe somebody with the skills will pick it up and head over to Kickstarter...