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3-D Printing Down on the Farm

Farm machinery manufacturers look to additive manufacturing to design and print custom tools and parts that could help revolutionize the farm industry.

We've all read about how 3-D printing is transforming the industrial world and all about the brave new manufacturing capabilities is has been creating these last couple of decades.

But over at Farm Industry News, Senior Editor Jodie Wehrspann, has put together a fascinating, in-depth look at how this 21st century technology has begun to disrupt even farm life.

"Where will 3-D printing ultimately take the farmer?" Wehrspann asks in her October cover story.

To answer, she turns to Eric Cullen, distributor application engineer for Cummins Central.

"At the far end of the spectrum, some people see 3-D printing as the first baby steps toward realizing the replicator technology from 'Star Trek,'" Cullen says. "They foresee a future where, if you need a tool or an object such as a wrench or a vase, whether at home or at work, the computer will just make you one. If you no longer have need of that object, it can be recycled on-site back into the raw materials to build the next object."

On a broader level, Wehrspann adds, the technology could lead to a "renaissance of small manufacturing start-up companies capable of challenging big business."

"Combined with inexpensive open-source computers like Arduino and access to crowd funding through sites like indiegogo.com," Cullen says, "a kid on a farm with an inspiration for the Next Big Thing in Agriculture can launch that idea into the world right there from the kitchen table – and do it well."


Read the full story at FarmIndustryNews.com.

You can also check out the Wehrspann's slideshow about 3-D printing ag equipment here.

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