cover image 3D Printers for Woodworkers: A Short Introduction

3D Printers for Woodworkers: A Short Introduction

Henry Doolittle. Linden, $17.95 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-93350-203-8

Doolittle, a former mechanical engineer, persuasively makes the case that traditional woodshops would benefit greatly from the addition of 3D printers to manufacture tools and parts. As he observes, the technology facilitates thrift in every setting: “The average household could save between $300 and $2,000 a year by printing items that they would normally purchase.” The first chapter, discussing the history of 3D printers, relates how they were first anticipated in science fiction (including The Jetsons) before becoming science fact, with a printer customized for zero-gravity environments now being used to replace parts aboard the International Space Station. Next up, Doolittle covers the basic kinds of 3D printing and the types of equipment woodworkers will most want to print, such as calipers, dowels, and speed squares. He also provides some troubleshooting tips for dealing with commonly encountered problems, and diagrams to illustrate important concepts (such as that the printers work by “adding material as needed” to create something new, rather than removing “the material that isn’t needed”). Doolittle’s guide will be a boon for the casual hobbyist and serious craftsperson alike. (Oct.)