My husband has a 3D printer, and lots of people ask me, "What on Earth do you use it for?"
Most people perceive the printer as a big toy, which in some ways it is. But, to me, 3D printers are really more like the 1980s version of a cell phone; back in the day only a handful of people had them, and while lots of people thought they were cool, most folks agreed that they could live without one. Now, 30+ years later, most people consider a cell phone an important piece of technology they wouldn't willingly give up. I think something similar will happen with 3D printers...
So back to the question - what do we use it for? All sorts of things; this weekend my husband printed me a cookie cutter. This cookie cutter, to be specific. My son loves Dr. Who, (and has for a while now,) and has asked for a Dr. Who themed birthday party.
Sure, I could have ordered this set from amazon for $16.00, or ordered a print right from Thingaverse for about the same price. But it was a whole lot more fun, and much quicker to just print one at home. Plus that way, I could scale the cookie cutter up or down to meet my specific size requirements.
If you're curious about what people who have 3D printers are using them for, check out Thingaverse. Every day there's something new. Oh, and if you want to make your own Dalek cookies, here's the recipe I used...
Stamped Shortbread Cookies
Makes about two dozen cookies.
What you need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks salted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar + more for rolling out cookies & dusting cookie stamp
What to do:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Sir in flour. Blend with pastry blender until the dough comes together.
- Place dough on a large piece of parchment paper and roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick. Use powdered sugar to roll out the dough. Don't use flour.
- Dust cookie stamp with powdered sugar and press onto the dough. Remove cookie stamp.
- Place cookie cutter over stamped dough and cut out the cookie.
- Use a spatula to lift the cookie and move it to the baking sheet.
- Chill the cookies for about 30 minutes before baking.