6 Cool Tools for DIY Prototyping

Courtesy MakerBot
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Meet the machines behind a maker revolution.

A new wave of makers and DIY engineers has succeeded in transforming innovation from a complicated and expensive process into a task simple enough to be done on the kitchen table. The tools: ingenious small robots, low-cost 3-D printers, and simple electronic bits that snap together like Legos. With the rise of technology that is creating at-home engineers, the world of prototyping is morphing dramatically. Now, small-scale inventors and industrialists are able to sample, modify, reconfigure, tinker—in short, to innovate—in minutes rather than in months. Here's how.