MakerBot Thing-O-Matic

MakerBot Thing-O-Matic

Forget buying gifts this year — create your own with the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic ($1,100). This automatic 3D printer can print full objects instead of pieces, and includes MakerBot StepStruder MK7 software to let you easily design your own creations. Just think of it as your own personal assembly plant, minus the questionable labor practices and potential regulatory hassles.

  • Little Printer

    We've heard of personal publishing, but this is ridiculous. Little Printer ($259) is a tiny, friendly-looking thermal printer that connects to the cloud to bring you customized news updates from sources like the Guardian, Foursquare, Google, and Nike+, plus puzzles, weather updates, and other useful info, printed on a receipt-sized publication that prints on-demand when you press the button. Expect to see one on a bookshelf near you next year.

  • Romo Smartphone Robot

    Forget buying expensive, special-use robots — we're all carrying powerful potential robot brains in our pockets, so why not use them to our advantage? The Romo Smartphone Robot ($80) uses iOS or Android apps to control its analog circuitry, motor outputs, and acrylic base, with new apps and hardware modules promised to expand its functionality in the future. All for about one-twentieth the cost of the Aibo. [Scouted by Vincent]

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