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November 14, 2014

Building an object with a 3D printer is a concept foreign to most of us. A pursuit for engineers and tech gurus, sure, but a possibility for kids and crafty parents? With Dremel’s 3D Idea Builder, this futuristic-sounding technology is affordable and accessible to anyone.

Breaking the Barrier

Dremel, a company known for its rotary tools, explored 3D printing after looking at the brand’s existing users. “Over the past several years, people were using our tools in tandem with 3D printers—making jewelry, personalizing things and more. We realized how closely these projects relate to the core of what Dremel offers,” said product manager Jon Zasiebida.

Giving consumers an easy-to-use and affordable at-home 3D printing option was the next logical step. The Idea Builder allows people to personalize their home improvement projects, such as designing a specialized drawer knob for a kitchen remodel, and is perfect for the ‘inventive parent’—those looking to do fun, educational projects with their children.

It’s also great for projects that mix multiple materials. “We don’t expect people to start and finish a project solely with 3D-printed parts. We want them to combine the customized parts with other materials for a polished final product,” said Jon.

At a recent Brit + Co. event, Dremel and The Home Depot introduced the new Dremel 3D Idea Builder.

How It Works

Dremel’s printer uses filament fabrication—the layering of hair-like plastic on top of itself—to build a 3D object The material is a PLA (polylactic acid) filament—a bio friendly plastic that is recyclable and renewable.

Partnering with Autodesk, Dremel is making it easy to use applications created for the printer to build something exactly as pictured, like ornaments and desk organizers. “The software allows a user to create a visual model, which it then transfers into a code for the printer to read,” said Jon. Dremel also provides blueprints for many 3D models online, so it’s easy to start building right away—no expertise needed.

Endless Possibilities

Dremel is teaming up with The Home Depot to spread awareness of 3D printing’s possibilities. Stores will demo the printer so customers can see how it works and start thinking creatively about 3D printing in everyday projects.

“It’s a magical moment when you get to see it in action for the first time,” said Jon. “And, once you start to think of a 3D printer as a tool amongst other tools, the potential is limitless.”