You walk into a place. You have nothing but an idea in your head. You sit at a computer, launch a programme, and start messing around. You click and drag a rectangle into place, add a circle, join to a triangle, punch a hole, and assign material. You change settings with a simple click and—voila! Your design in all its glory pops up in 3D, on screen, right before your eyes. You turn it around and examine it from all angles. You even move the parts to test the joints. Then with a simple click—presto! A fully functional lamp emerges out of a printer. A 3D printer. You take your lamp home, plug it in, switch it on, and it just works.
This life is already possible in some parts of the world, and will be here in the not-too-distant future.
Gamatong tested these possibilities recently at the invitation of software company Autodesk and Randburg-based Toolshare Studio, a makerspace that promises to provide you with all the inspiration and DIY tools you need to bring your magical ideas to life. And no, they don’t have 3D printers yet (sorry) but they do have the closest industrial revolution approximation—a workshop packed with an assortment of tools, ample workspace, technical advice, hands-on assistance, and lots of room for storage. And with their Autodesk partnership, you have access to some of the best software design and 3D-modeling tools in the market.
The efficiency of digital tools combined with the thrill of the drill is empowering. The satisfaction of taking something from idea to finished product in a matter of hours is incredible.
Sign up. Join the maker movement. We have.