Plastic fantastic

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My wife calls it “your new toy,” but I know it’s a serious tool. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I just got a 3-D printer. And I suppose, to be fair about it, the thing is fun. And since it’s fun, I guess I also have to admit that there’s something to Sally’s “toy” description. To be honest a bit further, most of what I’ve done so far is play around with it. (Read: Making “Star Wars” toys to enjoy... uh, I mean, for my grandson to enjoy.)

But I’ve also started making some practical things, like this:

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This is a fascinating technology, and the possibilities as to what you can do with them are nearly unlimited. Plus, there are several websites where you can download from among thousands of 3-D objects to print, and I was stunned to find that among the plastic Stormtroopers and Pokémon figures are hundreds upon hundreds of woodworking-related items, like that pegboard tool holder above.

So far, I’ve downloaded files for tool hangers, drawer organizers, a Dremel router base, a replacement handle for a favorite file, twist-lock clamps, a dowelling jig, and even a really nice Fibonacci gauge. The best part is that all of these things are designed and posted for free downloading by other woodworkers, so clearly I’m not alone in my fascination for the technology.

The only thing I’m curious about is if the wives of all those other woodworkers also refer to them as “your new toy.”

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