Last month I travelled to Chicago, and while I was there I decided to check out their new 3D Printing store, The 3D Printer Experience. By their name, it's pretty obvious what they do. I'd seen some of stuff they've made on social media, and wanted to give them a visit in real life.
Part of their store is dedicated to a small gallery space where they showcase 3D printed products and art. On display were pieces by Sophie Kahn and other artists and designers working with this medium. In the photo above, you can also see a Buddha statue there alongside it's colorful copy that was recreated digitally.
They also do more though than act as a storefront for goods made on demand. The store also offers modeling classes, printing services, and you can even scan yourself and create a printed bust. One of the coolest parts about the store is that they have a wall of 3D printers of all makes and models. You can learn about the different types of printing technologies and see what you're making materialize before your eyes.
During my visit, I opted out of getting my head scanned and turned into a bust, but I did use their machines to print out one of our new bike planters. They have a plethora of plastic colors to choose from, and being someone who likes bold color choices, I knew I'd come to the right place. Unable to choose just one color, I printed my new bike planter out in about 7 colors.
We printed the planters out on their MakerBot Replicator 2 in PLA, a biodegradable plastic made from corn starch. Objects made in this material won't last forever, but they will last a long time. When you're done with them you can compost them, and the material is renewable.