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Printing…In 3D?

This article will tell you about the concept of printing in 3D. Here is the concept and how it is done.

You would have to have your eyes closed for the better part of the last two years to not realize that we’re in the age of 3D. At first, the films in our cinemas went 3D, then normal everyday television (although, that’s an ongoing process) and now our printers.

Printing in 3D is a peculiar concept, after all, when most people think of printers they think of the type of printers you can buy from a high street stationer like Ryman… Printers that print on paper. In which case, how can it be 3D? Well, new technology has changed all that.

In the past, when you wanted to design something you’d have to carefully draw it either by hand or using some very state of the art technology. Now, if you want to create anything from a building to a tripod, you can use software that is available for free, and get it printed as you go to fine tune any issues that you might not see on paper but that come up in the real world.

The printing system is ingenious, layer by layer it builds your image in plastic or even sometimes in sheet metal, and it’s not particularly expensive either. Obviously if you’re mass producing something, old-fashioned injection is still the best way to go, but as 3D printers develop and become more mainstream, mass-production could be done in your own backyard.

They’re also excellent for schools and colleges, where pupils can design something on a computer screen and then actually watch it come together in 3D before their very eyes. Admittedly, 3D printers are extremely expensive at the moment, but it’s a new technology and new technology have been always expensive.

The potential benefits of this new technology are almost too numerous to mention. Obviously there are educational benefits to actually seeing your designs coming to life and being able to test them, but the same process is vitally important to designers everywhere, and, by taking control of the manufacturing process, 3D printing could lead to a new generation of designers coming out of the wood work with unique and amazing products.

Of course, for the moment, it’s unlikely that most people would be able to afford a 3D printer, and the 2D version will do just fine, but you never know what’s just around the corner.

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