Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Out Of The Mouth Of The Pony

We learned about 3-D printers this week at school. Did you know that you can get one for your home for the low, low price of $2199? It's true! Of course, with tax it would be extra. But still. A 3-D printer.

I was as happily ignorant of this device as True Grit's horse-trading Stonehill was of Lawyer J. Noble Daggett. Now the kids tell me that the local junior college has one, as well as the technical school. Who knew? Not Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, that's for sure.

The way this thingy works it that you program it for a certain shape, and it starts laying down layers until it builds a three-dimensional replica. It uses coiled up plastic filament that is melted for the laying, and then hardens into plastic. We had a little video of it making a yellow-colored building that resembled Congress or the White House. I'm not good with history and government and architecture. It was a model of a big, oldish-looking building that I've seen somewhere. Oh, and in our magazine was a picture of a life-size Thomas Jefferson.

There are many uses for this contraption. Engineers or doctors or scientists made a new jaw for a woman. It could go on trips with astronauts so they could create new tools that they forgot to pack. Of course, we won't go into the feasibility of hauling a printer and plastic coils that must add significantly to the payload, or the fact that we now hitch a ride into space on Russian rockets.

Students had to answer a question about the benefits this 3-D printer. Many mentioned its jaw-building prowess, and one touched on the life-size Thomas Jefferson. Several said it could make toys, or tools. Art projects were a favorite. Then we come to The Pony's thoughts.

"It could make new parts or prosthetic devices for oddly-proportioned people." Well. I asked him about it after grading his paper.

"Were you making a joke? About oddly-proportioned people?"

"No. I'm serious. It could make prosthetics for people like the Duggars."

Cue the squealing tires and screeching phonograph needles. WHAT? I know that folks hate on the Duggars. Begrudge them their carbon footprint. Badmouth them for loving and caring for their brood without needing any assistance from the tax-paying public. But this was going a little bit too far. Oddly-proportioned? That's just the way they comb their hair.

"What do you mean, for the Duggars?"

"Oh! I didn't mean the Duggars. I meant those tiny people you used to watch. The little people."

"The Roloffs? Little People Big World?"

"Yeah. Them. Not the Duggars and their nineteen kids."

Glad we got that cleared up.


Sioux said...

Well, I think at least one of the Duggars is oddly-proportioned...namely, Mr. Duggar.

If a man is able to convince a woman to have 19 kids, something must be magical about him...

Hillbilly Mom said...

I think you're onto something. Though not the same thing Mrs. Duggar is onto.

Chickadee said...

Until I saw a 3-D printer on an episode of Big Bang Theory, I didn't know they existed!

Hillbilly Mom said...

You got me beat. I didn't know until I read about it in a Scholastic science magazine.