LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Hendrix College is using new printing technology that many predict will change the way the world operates. It has a really cool name and can do even cooler things. The MakerBot Replicator 2 is a machine that has the ability to change the way we use technology.
"3-D printers are going to become ubiquitous. Everyone will have a 3-D printer in ten years," said John Steward. Steward is a lab manager in the physics department at Hendrix College. The school recently got their 3-D printer, and they have already used it to design several pieces within their coursework. "We're able to create these small pieces here. This was printed here at Hendrix. It's a bumper or a spacer. It keeps the electronic components off of the table."
Layer by layer, the printer dispenses heated plastic that transforms into a 3-dimensional object.
"This is the filament as it enters the extruder, and it comes out a tiny heated nozzle in a much smaller diameter to create the patterns that you see," explained Steward.
"We're really living in the future," David Hinson exclaimed. Hinson is the chief information officer at Hendrix College. "You'll be able to create a design, send it to the cloud and then be able to get back a custom piece of art or manufacturing that you designed in your home."
If you have a piece that's broken on your washing machine, the 3-D printer could replace it easily. With the help of this 3-D printer, you could download a file that would replicate that piece and allow you to replace it, saving you time, labor, and money.