Thingiverse is an awful name, but the community behind it shows far more creativity. Just a quick visit to the website reveals pages upon pages of nifty things people have spawned using 3D printers, complete with guidelines for replicating the objects yourself. Now MakerBot has condensed this community down into something that can fit in your pocket. With the new Thingiverse Android app, previously released for iOS back in October, users can browse, like, and comment on the expansive selection of plastic objects from anywhere they wish.
Quick reminder: the modular smartphone is a real thing that's really happening. Motorola blew our minds with the announcement of a plan to create modular phones not totally unlike the Phonebloks concept, and now the manufacturer is one step closer to making some real hardware. 3D Systems, makers of the Cube 3D printer and similar equipment, is Motorola's first partner on the Project Ara.
So what does that mean? Motorola needs some way of adding flexibility to a traditionally rigid manufacturing process, and 3D printing would seem to be a natural solution.
We're coming to a point in human evolution where a 3D printer may actually be easier to set up and use than traditional inkjet printers, which have long offered an experience akin to dealing with splinters that break whenever you try to pull them out. Zim is a consumer-oriented 3D printer on Kickstarter that developer Zeepro promises will be fully plug & play and controllable from any number of devices, including Android smartphones and tablets.
We don't get to talk much about 3D printing here at Android Police because it's not a technology that's terribly mobile-focused (nor is it even that commonplace yet), but suffice to say, it's amazing. While this may not be about making prosthetic body parts, vehicles, or bikinis, MakerBot and OUYA are partnering to allow users to print their own enclosures for the hackable console. This may be the coolest way to customize a game system yet.