A low, mechanical thrum creates an ever-present soundtrack at Type A Machines, a 3D-printing company on the third floor of San Francisco's TechShop, in SOMA. Big and drafty and sunlit with exposed pipes on the ceiling, it's a modern iteration of an old textile mill. On the ground floor, flannel-shirted workers sit hunched over welding equipment, sweat bubbling over their plastic goggles. Upstairs, their colleagues peck at laptops, designing blueprints for new objects with all the exacting detail of a draftsman using pen and paper. In a far corner, Type A's line of Series 1 2013 printers sits arranged in a row — big, wood-paneled, and creaky, each equipped with a wiring harness attached to an electrical spindle. One of them is spooling coils of purple plastic onto a glass platform. In several hours,... More >>>