Tel Aviv’s new 3D Factory doesn’t sell Apple Products, but it furnishes an Apple-style experience for artists, designers, and regular folk who want something unique and different for their home. “3D printing in Israel until now has been confined to labs or universities, where those interested in the technology would try out their designs,” said Jessica Jaffe, manager of the store in an up and coming section of Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv. “We’re more consumer friendly, providing non-geeks with the opportunity to experience 3D printing.”
The Times of Israel reports that 3D printing is just like “real” printing, except that instead of using ink or laser toner to transfer words or an image from a computer screen, the system uses materials to produce three-dimensional “prints” of a design on a screen made with 3D modeling software. High-end 3D printers can use a variety of materials, including metal, to reproduce objects (like guns); there are even printers that can “print” food, using sugar and other malleable ingredients to make candy and gum. Most 3D printers use various plastics (called filament) like PLA, which is made from corn starch, to produce objects.
For now, 3D Factory, which opened just a month ago, will restrict its printing to PLA, ABS filament, and other plastic-source objects – but shoppers in their store, as well as designers who come in with their own model files made on their computers or who use their workstation to build their own model files, will have no limits in printing objects made of those materials. The store has a retail section as well, where customers can come in and order a model (such as a vase, bottle opener, lamp, lunchboxes, even brass knuckles) and customize it by color, shape, size, and a dozen other criteria. Read more.