By Christine Kelly, Staff Writer
@teenykelly

3D printers have yet to become mainstream./PHOTO VIA Flickr user Mal Booth

3D printers have yet to become mainstream. Will Martha Stewart help start the trend?/PHOTO VIA Flickr user Mal Booth

Today, Martha Stewart released a line of 3D printable home products along with designs and colors for these products. What is 3D printing? Without going too into depth with the science behind it, the process is essentially building a virtual design and then creating a 3D object layer by layer. Although the 3D printing market has rarely left the engineering audience, Martha Stewart’s recent merge with MakerBot hopes to make 3D printing a consumer product.

MakerBot is a company that provides filaments for printing as well as desktop 3D printing machines. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. will be creating the 3D printable designs for home products. Although there are only a few small products on the new line, there are hopes for future products of cups, plates, utensils, etc.

Who would have thought that Martha Stewart would converge so much with science? It’s as if someone fused BU’s School of Hospitality Administration and College of Engineering together and out came the Martha Stewart for MakerBot Digital Store.

As of right now, Martha Stewart’s first 3D print design collection is the Trellis Collection. It includes four designs for a coaster, napkin ring, LED votive holder and a place card holder. The design sells for 99 cents for unlimited prints. But the pricy part is the actual printing.

The printer itself is a little under $1500 while half a pound of filament is about $25. Although that is a quite the price tag, 3D printing is for those who are in it for the long haul. Pretty soon everything will become 3D printable.

When I first heard about this idea, I was pretty freaked out. Maybe I just read too many dystopian novels as a kid but I’m uncomfortable with idea of technology controlling every aspect of our lives. It took me three years to get used to Kindle books, and I’m still iffy about them.

If we start letting Martha Stewart take over and start printing all our home products, the world could soon become a place where we 3D print everything. Even though that video isn’t real, it’s an intense idea that may become a standard in the future.

3D printing is an innovative way to deliver consumers products without all the middlemen. People can have coasters without a factory or a store.  Imagine having a party and you run out of coasters but then someone 3D prints a spare within 20 minutes.

If this trend catches on, we could see a number of consumer products reaching the hands of the people before they even see a store shelf. “3D printing allows for cost-effective product design without compromising artisanal character,” Stewart said.

Even if the technology is mind-blowing and a little crazy, I thank Martha Stewart for one thing. At least my products can now be printed in her signature colors, Lemon Drop, Robin’s Egg and Jadeite.