3D printing is overhyped, but still damn useful

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I dont have to tell you that 3D printing is big. Read any new source and you will hear the wonders of 3D printing. The claims run the gamut from printing human body parts to revolutionizing manufacturing with iPhones printed at home. The reality of course is that for a grand you can buy a collection of plywood, aluminum extrusion and polished rod that will push out a trickle of molten plastic in a semi controlled fashion to produce a figure somewhat resembling what was on your screen. Except of course that object now has rings all around it, the pieces dont exactly fit together, and the object breaks with only a little pressure.


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So Sonic Notify hates 3D printers? No way, are you kidding? They are the future, you can print human parts and iphones. No we really do love them, because alot of the time a dinky looking plastic piece is exactly what we needed. In the old days, new beacon designs or hardware configurations meant a probject box with a bunch of holes hacked into it. Now we can design a box that is form fit to the electronics.

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Thats a little beacon we created that houses the electronics for our upcoming super tiny beacons. These are super tiny iBeacons. Very cheap, very disposable. Short term activations. Again, no ugly project box.Even more than that it should be obvious that while the fit and finish is not perfect, 3D printing lets you iterate hardware designs faster. The ability to present potential clients and the sales team with models and prototypes to test in the field is invaluable. All in all it turns out that crappy pieces of plastic are really useful at a hardware startup. Now all we have to do is figure out how to print an iPhone.

Whats our Setup

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