3D Printer Technologies: Potential on the Farm
Craig Adams, Columbia, MO
January 10, 2015

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(Session notes provided by AgEBB staff with the help of Eugene FFA)

Craig Adams of the Columbia Public Schools system came to speak and demonstrate about how 3D printers are used.

He showed several different examples of their various uses such as:

  • 3D printing houses with a concrete mixture. (He sees a future with printed grain bins.)
  • 3D printing body parts in the medical world. (He sees printed organs from a patients own cells within the next 5-10 years.)
  • 3D printing the majority of a car's parts.

Craig explained how he believes that 3D printing's biggest impact for farmers will be the use of plastic made from corn. This plastic, Polylactic Acid (PLA) is being used more frequently and he believes it could help create a bigger demand for corn.

Craig brough some examples of 3D printers, scanners, and pens to let attendants of the conference see and use.

The Eugene FFA explained their experience with learning how to use a 3D scanner. This machine can be used to scan items and a program creates a file that can be printed. The students listed off some items they believe could be useful to have printed around a farm. Small plastic pieces are sometimes prone to breaking, and they believe that a 3D scanner and printer could be beneficial on a farm. They admitted to having some difficulties using the scanner, but said that once they figured it out, it wasn't hard to scan small items.

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