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3D Printing: How it works



3d printing technology is already changing the way of producing objects from tool, toys to clothing. 3d printing is part of process called ‘Additive Manufacturing’ where object is created by adding material layer by layer. Additive manufacturing allows manufacturers to design complex parts for machines, airplanes and cars at fraction of cost and standard means like folding, moulding and sculpting.

Now smaller consumer friendly 3-d printers are bringing additive manufacturing to homes and businesses. The first step in 3D printing is to create a blue print of the object you want to print. One can use modelling software like blender to create your design or you can visit websites like ‘Thingiverse’ or ‘Shapeways’ to find objects that are already 3-d modelled by other users.

Once the design is finished it is to time to send it to printer. Some printers like MakerBot Replicator 2 have renewable bioplastics in the back of the device almost like a string. When the printer receives the data it starts printing. The 3-d object is created by layering where printer adds one layer of the object at the time until we have fully formed structure.

The most common material used in 3-d printing is plastic, but the use of other materials allowed for the creation of some pretty amazing products beyond simple tools and toys. 3-d printing food is becoming very popular and Additive Manufacturing have allowed for the creation of some pretty interesting things.

In medical world, doctors are testing biomaterials for a generative medicines. By using a patient’s cell doctors can 3-d print small body parts like ears and noses. Some surgens have also tested 3-d printed organs for transplants.

Recently, giant 3-d printers in China printed 10 houses in just 1 day and at a cost of less than $5000 per house. Therefore future is going to be different as 3-d printing will be reducing effort and time.

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