3D printing is still a relatively new technology, and it is subject to a lot of variables: materials, code, several moving parts, and (not always perfect) designs. When a 3D print fails, it can look a bit odd, but beautiful in its own way. Like a big pile of... something that was almost stuff.
MakerBot has been looking for a way to take all the guesswork out of 3D printing, from failed prints to coding new designs.
If you aren't such a fan of failed 3D printings (that constructive 'ink' isn't cheap,) check out the MakerBot app for iOS. It can give you updates every three seconds, with images, to make sure all is going well with your print.
Unfortunately, it can only link with MakerBot printers which start at $1,375. While that price is certainly much steeper than the $200 MOD-t 3D printer, MakerBot does offer an impressive 3D printing system. Their digital 3D scanner, the MakerBot Digitizer, allows you to scan a 3D object and create an impressive, digital model of the design. You can then take that digital model and print out the 3D object. It's as close as we can get to 3D object cloning.
The Digitizer is $949, so you're looking at over $2,000 for a full blown cloning system. I am just waiting for someone to combine this technology with the 3D food printer.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.