We live in a day and age where technology keeps growing, and its capability to achieve what seems impossible, is growing as well. Welcome to the world of 3D Printers. Printers that have left the world in awe, and have open the door for even more innovations. Today, 3D printers are not only used for printing nonsensical models, but it can also print manufacturing prototypes and end user products, such as quasi-legal guns, aircraft engine parts and even human organs using a person’s own cells. Amazing, isn’t it?
So how do these magical printers actually work? This wonderful article by Mike Fleming highlights it all. In summary, Mike mentions that all 3D printers create a three dimensional object by building it layer by successive layer, until the entire object is complete. It’s like regular printing with the x and y axis, but with the addition of the Z axis.
Having said so, 3D printing requires a 3D digital file. With the help 3D modeling programs, such as blender, Cinema4D, Sketchup, etc., you can create a prototype on your computer of whatever you need to print! This freedom of being able to create whatever you desire, is what make 3D printing so revolutionary. We’re looking at a day and age where if you ever need something simple as a part to broken machine in your house, you can easily print it with a 3D Printer from your home and fix it, without having to order it online or to hire someone to fix it.
If you’re new to the world of 3D printers, it might be beneficial to learn about what 3D printing has already accomplished. This video is a story about two doctors from University of Michigan, who saved a young child’s life by 3D printing a bio-resorbable splint. They customized it to match the baby’s windpipe, which helped the baby breathe properly. Revolutionary and simply remarkable!
However, you might be thinking to yourself, as amazing as this technology is, it must be very expensive! Is such a technology even available for everyone to use? And the answer to that is that it is a work in progress! In 2014 several companies have risen up and claimed that they can create and provide 3D Printers as cheap as $100, with varying features. These companies such as FormLabs, NewMatter, PeachyPrinter etc. have created kick-starter campaigns to help generate funds and to create these technologies for us.
It’s exciting to see the 3D Printing industry growing! And I can’t help but wonder, what unique thing will we be able to print next? A 3D printing revolution awaits us, and right before us it will change the world as we know it.