We are wondering what your thoughts on 3D printing are? Have you printed something using the technology or purchased something from a 3D printing website? If so what was it? What are you most excited about when considering the future possibilities that 3d printing has?
Where did the idea of 3D printing come from? Well one of the technologies that we often take for granted now but in reality has only become an at home affordable thing in the last 10 -15 years is the 2D printer. How often do we print a photo or document and think about what an amazing thing that is? If you are like me that is never, but years ago printing photos yourself at home would have been impressive to people. The main initiative behind the original idea of printing was to permanently record something, whether that was written or visual. It was then pushed so that people could recreate existing materials to allow people to have their own copies of things in their possession; for example books, photographs and artwork. Printing has progressed from such a basic form of using stones to transfer simple images or art for historical preservation to something we now use everyday within our lives without thinking. (Gascoigne, B 2011) If you had told people hundreds of years ago what technology would be like today they wouldn’t believe you. 3D printing will become the same in the future; it will be an accepted part of day-to-day life without giving it much thought.
So what is 3D printing? 3D printing is producing a 3D object by printing it one thin layer at a time in a process known as additive manufacturing. It is used in conjunction with 3D Scanners and CAD (Computer Aided Design Software) to create a 3D image that can be printed. It is being used within many industries such as printing rapid prototypes for parts for cars and aircraft allowing manufacturers to test the ability of the parts before spending money on the large-scale manufacturing.
It is used for models for architects to show their plans to clients, saving time building prototypes. One of the more lighthearted ways it is used is to create intricate objects built entirely out of chocolate. (Park, 2014) Dentists have also been printing new teeth and instruments to operate with using this technology.
One of the newest areas where 3D printing is being applied is the medical industry where it is being used to print hearing aids and it is also in the testing stages of being used to print organs and even skin for patients requiring transplants (Futuretech 2013). How do you feel about in the future no longer needing organ donation for people requiring transplants, or having a new tooth printed while you finish a magazine in the waiting room?
Here’s two websites with a little more information for you if you wish to explore further.
This blog is dedicated to the wonderful and expanding world of 3D printing. You will find information about the 3D printing, what new advancements are being made in the field and some of the more quirky and fun things that are currently being produced. 3D printing is a fascinating subject and there is so much to share and discuss. Please check out our other forums