Industrial 4.0 is coming, what we will do? We brought a 3D printer 2 months ago and some of the guys here are very interested in how it works and how we can utilise it. To give the answer to them, I had one session these days that introduced the basic steps to use the machine.

###What can we print?

The first question they ask: can we build everything? The answer is definitely no, but we can build a lot. 3D printer consumes plastic and builds things layer by layer, so it is constrained by the material. And non-industrial 3D printer’s precision is not so good, so we can’t print too detailed model. Although it is a toy like thing, let’s see what we printed.

The Big Hero and the Iron Man’s helmet are quite famous. ThoughtWorks label is printed for fun, and the gear toy is much more complex. (Watch the video: Depends on the complexity, we will spend several minutes to several hours to print.

Thingiverse( has a lot of creative things for us to print. I recommend to download them and try to print for beginners. They really found a lot of interesting things to try.


###How could it help for our life?

I had one kid had he loves the train the most. I printed him train crossing for the IKEA wood train for more fun, and also a train engine for him. He was very excited about this gift. To my surprise, 2.5-years-old kid now knew how the 3D printer works. Inline image 2


Another example is to create things. One day my wife told me that our case lock is broken, I used 123D design tool to draw a model and then printed it. It fit good and now the case was fixed.

In the picture below, you can see the battery holder and iPad holder. They are quite useful. I would like to great thanks to the 3D printer to make life easier and happy.


###Next Step

Now we know how to use the machine, but we are still beginner at the design. More session around design work will happen in office, and our UX guys can think of creative things. Next time, you may see our business card is 3D printed.

I’m now also trying to build a cheap 3D scanner, so that we can scan the world and then print it.