3D Printing Makes a Splash at Archon 38

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3D Printed RJ Carter with HeroClix Batgirls for scale.

The concept of clicking a few buttons and having something made from nothing has been a staple of science fiction. And with the advent of 3D printing technology, we're one step closer to making one more fantasy a reality. With devices that print not only in plastic, but also metals, chocolate, and even cellular tissue, there's a bold new horizon out there waiting to be crossed.

But until we reach that point, let's have some fun with it. Representatives from EF Innovations were on hand at the Archon 38 science fiction convention in Collinsville, Illinois showing off their 3D scanning and printing techniques. It was the perfect market, with gamers on hand who couldn't resist the opportunity to create one-of-a-kind representations of their role-playing characters by dressing up, getting scanned, and being printed as a miniature or slightly-less-miniature version.

Some people came away with warriors. Some with princesses. I came away with a balding, pudgy, out of shape writer.

Yes, that's right. Yours truly inflicted himself upon the lasers. The timid may wish to look away at this point.

But it didn't end there. Remember David J. Pedersen, whom we interviewed regarding his series of novels, ANGST? No, of course you don't. But you probably remember Cristi, his spokesmodel. Shortly after that interview, we made the walk down the main hall of the convention and into the dealers' room. The results went up onto EF Innovation's Facebook page almost faster than light.

The technology has a long way to go before it's ubiquitous, and a lot of testing before it's life-changing and life-saving. But for now, it sure is cool. Now I just need to find a way to sculpt some abs onto my 3D object model before I send it off for a second printing.