In the early 2000s, there was a public service announcement meant to discourage piracy and downloading digital property.

"You wouldn't steal a Car" was the first line of this anti-copyright infringement campaign.

The weird part is that there have been reports that the music used in some of these commercials was "stolen."

I just remember my friends and I laughing about whether we could download a car!?!?

3D printing makes that 20-year-old joke and daydreams a reality, and I am stunned!

3D Printer and a printed Car Rim

I reached out to a couple of individuals who have turned their hobby of 3D printing into something more!

Ben Mobley (BE3D) got into the hobby from a YouTuber based in Shoreline, WA, called 3D Printing Nerd. After seeing that, he was hooked and started down the nerdy rabbit hole.

With a blessing from his wife and a pretty sweet 2019 birthday present, he got his first printer, an Anycubic Vyper!

Stan Owen (Mentally Damaged Collectibles) learned how to 3D print for his work, repurposing furniture. "I wanted custom drawer pulls, but I couldn't find them, so I figured I could print them myself."

A cheap machine in a hundred pieces with Chinese instructions from eBay and "several hours of YouTube Academy," he was up and running.

Plastic statue of marvel character deadpool
Courtesy of Stan Owen/Mentally Damaged Collectibles

It seemed like the learning curve for both Stan and Ben was a couple of months, taking time to hone their skills and upgrade their systems.

How Much Does 3D Printing Cost To Do?

It's not a cheap hobby. Ben informed me that printers can range from $100 to $1,600 and can even jump up to several thousand. It all depends on what you're planning on making.

When it comes to the material, Stan mentioned how the cost of filament is "inexpensive, and the consumable parts are cheap too, but you can go through a lot."

plastic statue of Halo's Master Chief character.
Courtesy of Ben Mobley / BE3D

How Long Does It Take On Average To 3D Print Something?

One issue everybody runs into when it comes to hobbies is free time. I asked what the average time for a project is, and they laughed.

"There is no average print, to be honest. Small pieces can be done in a couple of hours, but I've had pieces take upwards to 7 days to complete." – Stan Owen.

What Is The Coolest 3D Print You've Ever Created?

"The Mandalorian helmets I made for myself and my son, along with collapsing lightsabers!" was Ben's enthusiastic answer.

When I asked how long it took, he told me it took over a day and a half per helmet on his big, slow printer.

Two helmets from Star Wars
Courtesy of Ben Mobley / BE3D

"My customs have been my favorite," responded Stan. "They are ideas I've had, and I worked with a digital creator to create custom one-of-a-kind pieces. With all the different parts, they have taken up to a week, with 4 of my machines running 24/7."

Plastic statue of the Predator
Courtesy of Stan Owen/Mentally Damaged Collectibles

Besides the 'nerdy' fun stuff, what other uses have you found with 3D printing?

Ben beamed, "I love the wide variety of uses you can go with it. From cosplay and figurines to practical parts for prototyping/spare part replacement, etc., the list is quite literally endless. I hope to work with local businesses to help with replacement parts instead of waiting forever on China to send what is needed."

Radio station light up sign logo
Courtesy of Ben Mobley / BE3D

3D Printing, More Than Just Plastic!

"You can quite literally customize anything you want by adding electronics to a helmet for automatic visor lifting with servos, lights,  or paint whatever object to your own liking," commented Ben.

3d picture frame
Courtesy of Ben Mobley / BE3D

"Painting can take a while if there are tons of details. The electronics can be tricky; some go easy while others, you need to finesse," added Stan.

3 statues, 2 of my little pony and one of Marvel's Venom. All 3D Printed
Courtesy of Stan Owen/Mentally Damaged Collectibles

"That's the beauty of 3D printing; if you have the know-how, you can quite literally bring your ideas to life with modeling and printing or hire someone who can 3D model it to bring it to life for you," laughed Ben.

3d printer with inner images of a radio logo and a hypnotists logo
Ben Mobley - tsm/Timmy - Canva

There are so many talented people in the Yakima Valley, who are working to turn their hobby into something more! If you're one of them, Tap the App and let us know!

92.9 The Bull logo
Get our free mobile app

15 Stores In The Yakima Valley To Let Your Nerd Flag Fly!

Here are the places that share in many of our loves of all things pop culture & nerdy fandom! Check out these local shops for whatever you may collect! If they don't have it, they can point you in the right direction... but they probably have it In no particular order! 

Gallery Credit: tsm/Timmy!

OPPORTUNITIES: These Are the Highest-Paying Jobs in Yakima That Don’t Require a College Degree

Stacker ranked the 50 highest-paying jobs in Yakima that don't require a college degree, using annual compensation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gallery Credit: Stacker


More From 92.9 The Bull