3D Printing – the future of printing is here!
Most people are under the assumption that 3D printing is a new type of print technology. However, it was some 30 years ago, in 1983, that Chuck Hull invented the first ever 3D Printing machine – the same year that camcorders and CDs were available to the public.
3D printing has often been used in TV programs, along with jetpacks, and time machines to depict the technology of the future. But now, 3D printing has become the present. This type of printing is becoming more and more accessible. Due to popularity the price of equipment is being driven down, enabling people to print items ranging from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary.
Q – What is 3D printing?
A – The process of making a three-dimensional object from a digital model.
Using a variety of powdered or liquid version of materials including: rubber, plastic, paper, metals and polyurethane, 3D printing involves the layering of the liquid or powdered form of these materials hundreds or thousands of times, to build the model.
Like normal printing, there is more than one way of doing 3D printing. The most common form is Fused Deposition Modelling (FDP), but there is also Selective Laser Sintering and Stereolithography. FDP attaches layers of plastic on top of one another in order to make an object, whereas the others both refer to a process where a laser or other focused light source is pointed into a bath of liquid plastic or resin that, when hit with the light source, will harden.
3D printing has been used in a variety of industries including – automotive, medical, business, industrial, education and architecture, to create anything from scale models, clothing, prosthetics and hearing aids to even homes. With 3D printing, the possibilities are endless.
The impact of 3D printers on the medical industry is one of great interest. 3D printing has enabled surgeons to produce mock-ups of parts, such as creating hip replacement parts to fit the patient perfectly within a matter of hours.
Until recently, 3D printers were too technical or expensive for the mass market. However now, more affordable models are available & are becoming more common in the home, school or office. Midshire Business Systems are able to supply the Cube and CubeX 3D printers, which are perfect for Design & Technology lessons at school, but also a fun addition to a home.
The Cube and CubeX turn living rooms and classrooms into creative spaces; allowing the user to create practical items for the home and the office, or be more creative with fashion and home accessories.
How will 3D printing shape your future?
For more information contact Adrienne Topping
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