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Your Chicago: Inventables

(CBS) -- Have you ever had the desire to invent something but don't know how to get started?

A Chicago company is blazing a trail with software and 3-D printers to physically create your invention.

CBS 2's Kate Sullivan reports on a company called Inventables.

When 11-year-old Lily Born noticed her grandfather, who has Parkinson's, was struggling with his coffee cup, she had an idea.

"He was just shaking and it was spilling and that caused a lot of problems," she says.

She decided to create a cup that had a stable base and wouldn't spill. That idea was made possible using free software from Inventables.

Then she was able to use a 3-D printer to physically make the cup, which has three legs.

The Kangaroo Cup was born.

Inventables sells the materials that go into the machines to make the products. All you need is an idea.

But how much knowledge and computer-savvy do you really need to operate the software?

"I wouldn't say knowledge. I would say you need passion, you need a creative idea of what you want to do and just the passion and excitement to go do it," says Zach Kaplan of Inventables.

It was that kind of passion that made the Kangaroo Cup possible.

A 3-D printer created Lily's plastic prototype and then the cup was manufactured at a factory in ceramic. For more information about her invention, click here.

The Chicago Public Library downtown has one of the 3-D printers available for all to use, and the software is free.


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