In 2008, Joris van Tubergen joined the Fablab Protospace in Utrecht. There, he was an early supporter of several 3D printing-related initiatives – including Ultimaker, then in its infancy. He is also the creator of a multitude of 3D printing-related inventions and modifications – among them the Z-Unlimited, an add-on for an Ultimaker 3D printer that flips the printer upside-down, enabling the creation of objects otherwise be too tall to print.
“I like to think about building the printer and what to do with it,” Joris says. “This use (and abuse) of 3D printing technology resulted in – sometimes literally – out-of-the box experiments like the Z-Unlimited, but also fiber-reinforced 3D printing, life-size greyscale printing, 'real' 3D printing, printing on a rotary axis, and 3D printing with chocolate.”
All the modifications Joris creates are built in ways that are affordable for everybody to experiment with, he says. Looking to the future of 3D printing, he believes prototypes will no longer exist. Instead, there will be versions of products that are constantly being tweaked, and improved upon.
3D printing is one of the few affordable fabrication techniques that doesn't make a lot of noise, smell, or dust. It is also a very versatile technique.