3D printing technology has come a long, long way from when it was first conceived.
Originally the brainchild of science fiction writers imaging the way of the future, today it’s possible to print in 3D – actual physical objects, using advanced production technology now available commercially – right in the comfort of our own homes!
That’s right! For the first time ever we all have the chance to build a 3D model of something in a CAD program or the like and then print it physically to use in just a matter of moments.
People are printing car parts for classic vehicles no longer made, cheaper components for high end medical tools and technology, and even making toys for their children or grandchildren!
The possibilities with 3D printing are literally endless.
But if you’re new to the world of printing in 3D (and want to make sure you’re able to hit the ground running with a printer of your own), you’ll want to check out all of the inside information we have to offer you below in this quick guide.
Shall we jump right in?
Let’s rock and roll!
What is meant by 3D printing?
It’s pretty common for folks not fully versed in the high tech world to think of 3D printing as the same kind of process as 2D printing (what you get out of your laser or inkjet printer, for example), but nothing could be further from the truth.
3D printers don’t “print” so much as they utilize a number of advanced filaments and materials that are fused together to produce the project that you have designed in a separate piece of software.
In the early days of the technology, filaments were fused together through an extruding process that was slow and cumbersome (and was limited to only a handful of materials). Useful for prototyping – and not much else – these machines cost hundreds of thousands (millions, sometimes) of dollars to produce and were just as expensive to operate.
Today though, multiple filament fabrication processes are the norm, and 3D printing technology is much more compact and accessible. It’s possible to purchase a desktop 3D printer for under $500 these days!
What can 3D printers be used for?
The world of 3D printing is still in its infancy and it’s impossible to really know the full possibilities for the future of this technology, but it’s safe to say the future is looking very bright indeed.
Today there are companies all over the world prototyping new advances rapidly (and without any unnecessary cost), but there are a lot of new companies in the medical world using 3D printing technology and biological filaments to actual produce new body parts and organs.
This is some special stuff we’re talking about here, and it only begins to scratch the surface.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of new frontiers that 3D printing technology brings to the forefront. We are living in a world of modern miracles, and it’s likely that this kind of technology will play a major role in where we’re headed!