3 improvements that could be made to 3d printers

Oh, how I wish I had more than one life to live. Then I would have the time to do all the things that I want to instead of just talking about them.

Most recently, right now, I came up with a few wishlist items that would improve additive 3d printers tremendously.  For all I know someone is already doing these things or maybe YOU, the reader already are. In which case, please let me know because that would be pretty cool. If enough time goes by, I might even attempt to do these three things myself. Without further ado, here they are:

1. Use 5 axes rather than 3 axes.

Support material sucks.  I mean, it’s great because it allows you to build up complex structures, but it’s expensive and it leaves marks when you break it away. If you could rotate the work piece, you could always be adding on top instead of from the side.  Certainly some support material might still be needed in cases where the printer head simply does not fit, but being able to rotate the work piece would certainly reduce the amount of support material.

2. Use feedback via a camera or laser to detect errors. 

3d printers are rather dumb right now. If it screws up, it just keeps on going and going and going until you come back from having your tea and realize that you have gobbly goop left.  Wouldn’t it be nice if your 3d printer actively scanned your work piece and compared it to your 3d model?

3. A router bit to correct errors.

Given that you can detect errors from point 2, why not correct them? A rotary cutter would allow you to remove mistakes and smoothen the work piece. You might need a vacuum system to go with this so that scraps don’t get in the way.

If any of my readers know of an example of these three things being done or ever do these things, please please let me know so that I can tell you how cool you are.

-Sebastian Spiegel



  1. Bruce-Quin

    Great ideas, this is the way new features and products get started. OK, now just find the implementer. Maybe someone you might know alot about.

  2. PatG

    2 is already achievable. Desktop 3d scanners are on the market now. Integrate one with your build platform and you are good to go.

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