Recreational marijuana is beginning its slow creep across America, beginning in states like Colorado and Washington — which have become total hellscapes, obviously — and an entire startup ecosystem is sprouting up in order to reap the rewards of the inevitable home gardening revolution.
Some companies now want to help spread the revolution free of cost.
3Dponics, an online hub for 3-D printed home gardening innovations, released the 3-D printing plans over the weekend for a DIY medical marijuana growing pot.
Each planter is made of three little parts: a pot, a planter and a lid. You can print as many as you need, and then stack them one on top of the other as high as they'll balance.
Since 3Dponics is an open source company, you can download every pattern you need for free, and once you rig 3Dponic's drip-based watering system to slowly feed your THC tower top to bottom with fresh water, you're good to go. So what does 3Dponics get out of this? Well, you can always subscribe to their delivery service, where they'll send fertilizer and lights to help your garden grow — seeds not included.
The darker side of 3-D printing: With a 3-D printer, you can make anything that you've downloaded the digital patterns for, as long as that printer can work with the right materials. Print with pie dough? You can print a pie. Print with hydrogels? You can print condoms.
But you can also 3-D print guns, machines for ripping off ATMs and other people's copyrighted and patented products. What makes people nervous about the more sinister applications of 3-D printing isn't the things you can make — there's nothing new under the sun there — it's that you can't keep a record of what people are printing. Where the federal government can track gun sales, it's impossible to determine if someone has used blueprints to make a homemade pistol, even if it is legal.