There were a lot of buzz about 3D printing the whole month of September.
What is 3D printing?
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of creating solid 3D objects from a digital model usually through the use of a materials printer. 3D printers form the object by joining several layers of the materials. Traditional machining techniques, in contrast, use subtractive processes (e.g. filing, grinding, drilling, cutting the materials) to create the product.
With 3D printers, virtual models are transformed into thin horizontal cross-sections then laid down layer by layer until the object is complete. The layers are then fused together. With 3D printing, any shape can be created and the virtual and physical models are almost identical. Production of small quantities of products is faster and cheaper with 3D printers than with traditional manufacturing techniques. Very complex designs can also be created easier.
In this video, Lisa Harouni explains the basics of 3D printing.
Nowadays, 3D printing is not anymore limited to industrial applications. Small businesses, professionals, and hobbyists can also get their hands on less expensive models.
Some recent 3D printing news: