GE is trying to give 3D printing its very own day of celebration, and it's brought together a small group of celebrities to create and give away designs to kick the day off. Al Roker, Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow, and 4chan creator Chris Poole — widely known as "moot" — are among the names participating in the first "3D Printing Day," which is being put together in a collaboration between industry members including GE, Makerbot, 3D Systems, and Autodesk. The event will take place next Tuesday, on December 3rd (3D on D3, as GE's putting it). "3D-printing is real now," says Poole. "It's serious, useful, ... utilitarian."
"You want people to notice that you're using it."
While some of the designs are just novelties, Poole used the opportunity to playfully comment on the recent NSA leaks. Working with a designer, Poole put together what's being called Spy Block — a small clip that slips over your laptop's webcam to make sure that no one is watching you. Poole thinks it's a far better solution than just taping over it. "If you have painters tape [over your camera], people are like, 'What the fuck's wrong with your computer?'" he tells The Verge. "It's cool to have something that's not just functional but also aesthetically pleasing."
Poole doesn't really think the NSA is looking through his webcam, instead, he says that the idea is just to get people talking about the leaks. "It's also a conversation starter," Poole says. "You want people to notice that you're using it." Of course, GE's own intention is to start a conversation around 3D printing, and beyond allowing all of its creators to open source their designs, it's going to be printing out, customizing, and giving away copies of each of the ten models that the group built. None may be quite as complex as the jet parts that GE makes with 3D printing, but they're certainly a fun way to bring attention to the burgeoning technology.