Article on 3D printing in PCPro Magazine

This month’s PC Pro magazine has a thought provoking Article on the potential of 3D printing entitled “A licence to print anything” by Stuart Andrews. It touches on the recent Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London which showed of prototype clothing which had been printed as well as Chairs, tables, shoes and lampshades. It is clear that the frontiers of 3D printing are being expanded as the article also refers to printing in Cement for architectural purposes, print a house anyone?

The Awesome Potential Of 3-D Printing

The Awesome Potential Of 3-D Printing

When you mention 3 D printing today, not a lot of people honestly know what you’re talking about. The idea of 3 dimensional printing isn’t overall well known. The concept tends to be slightly abstract and people aren’t sure exactly what you are talking about.

At the moment, 3 D printing is not widely in use, but you can expect that to change in the near future. While, by and large, 3 D printing has been confined to just a few larger companies, many more are actively watching the technology grow and change. They are viewing it as a very significant methodology that they want and will be needing in the months and years to come. Really think about what the opportunities and the benefits of three D printing could be.

Just envision being able to make a three dimensional object by a few clicks of the mouse button. Imagine the things you could make. Now, we’re not taking “pictures” of those things, but the actual items themselves. Items such as toys, or plates, or lamps would be printable. Models of them could be created in just a few hours.

Today, architects are finding that 3D printing has amazing capabilities and a vast scope of uses that are just beginning to be made clear to them.

Several different companies are actively using the technology and it can offer some truly incredible things. One of the amazing things that 3D printing has been able to do is to use 3 D printing to recreate parts that are not replaceable or are well outdated.

What 3D printing is, precisely, is a process, not merely a printing methodology. It does use a printer of sorts, in order to make layer upon layer of materials into a product that is built on the specifications given to it by the model that was also designed by the computer.

Forensics is also one of the areas that uses 3D printing. In much the same way that forensic artists are able to use computer to create the facial features of people who lived many thousands of years ago, or of bodies which were found in skeletal state, 3 d printing can offer the means to create shapes, and actual items from printing. This technology is only now emerging and what it can do seems to be virtually limitless, subject only to the imaginations of those who design and build the “printers.” One of the amazing things that 3D printing has been able to do is to use 3 D printing to recreate parts that are not replaceable or are well outdated.

While we have not heard a lot about 3D printing, they have been in use actively for more than ten years. Typically they have been used by engineers from the aerospace career field, as well as government defense employees so that they can test as well as create various components for their jobs. This is a third application for 3D printing that has been in use for quite some time. Engineers are able to design and create prototypes for their own specialty field. They are able to create these things far more cost effectively and far more efficiently using 3 D printers.

Three companies primarily are using or designing 3 D printing today, they are:

StrataSys
http://www.stratasys.com/

3D Systems
http://www.3dsystems.com/

123 Systems
http://www.a123systems.com/
What 3D printing is, precisely, is a process, not merely a printing methodology. It does use a printer of sorts, in order to make layer upon layer of materials into a product that is built on the specifications given to it by the model that was also designed by the computer. In much the same way that forensic artists are able to use computer to create the facial features of people who lived many thousands of years ago, or of bodies which were found in skeletal state, 3 d printing can offer the means to create shapes, and actual items from printing. This technology is only now emerging and what it can do seems to be virtually limitless, subject only to the imaginations of those who design and build the “printers.”