Not sure about 3D printing and want to experience it? Really experience it? Now there's a way to do so in which you (personally) become the 3D printer! You manipulate a hand-held extruder and move it about to gradually build up a 3D model just as a real 3D printer might do.
Designer Joong Han Lee of Studio Homunculus in Eindhoven explains how it works:
Haptic Intelligentsia is a human 3D printing machine that allows the user to tactually perceive the virtual object and to directly transform it into the physical. The user can freely move the extruding gun, which is attached to a haptic interface. When the tip of the gun is moved into a surface region of the virtual object, the interface generates forces under computer control, allowing the user to feel and touch the surface of the object.
The operator of the device moves the extruder manually and gradually builds up the object. Naturally, the results are not quite as precise as you'd get from a real 3D printer, but hey - it's human error visualized. Perhaps this is a way for some people to understand 3D printing?
Lots more information on this experiment is available at DesignBoom, but if you want to actually create a 3D model using a haptic approach, we recommend you check out Cloud 9.