3D Printing


3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of making a three-dimensional solid form of any shape from the original digital model. Today, it is one of the latest new technologies captivating the IT world. Although it has been around since the 1980s, it is just now becoming even more prevalent and successful. The difference between 3D printing and traditional printing are the end products and their number of dimensions. Traditional printing produces a 2-dimensional image on a sheet of paper despite the digital models 3D appearance, whereas a 3D printer prints actual three dimensional solid objects. A materials printer is utilized for 3D printing and uses digital technology to form any shape that it needs to form. The process is achieved by having the printer use an additive process, where layers of material are laid down in various shapes. This is where 3D printing gets its alternate name, additive manufacturing.

The first working 3D printer was created in 1984. Since the 2000's, these printers have become increasingly popular and high in demand, therefore allowing for a substantial decline in their prices, making them somewhat more affordable.These printers are being used in a wide variety of fields such as architecture, medicine, engineering, construction, etc.


One of the most important applications of 3D printing is in the medical industry. With 3D printing, surgeons can produce mock-ups of parts of their patient's body which needs to be operated upon. 3D printing makes it possible to make a part from scratch in just hours. It allows designers and developers to go from flat screen to exact part. Last year, medical researchers in Belgium and The Netherlands replaced the jaw of an 83-year-old woman with a 3D printed model of her lower mandible. Doctors had to remove her jaw due to a severe infection, but surgery would be a major risk due to her older age and several other factors. The researchers worked with an implant company called Xilloc to replace the jaw.The implant was put together by a 3D printer using powdered titanium through the laser melting process. In only one day after the surgery, the 83-year-old woman could already speak and swallow normally. Thus, 3D printing plays a huge role in the medical industry and can also be used to make mock-up organs, blood vessels, and bone structures which can lead to many saved lives.

Nowadays, almost everything from aerospace components to toys, are getting built with the help of 3D printers. 3D print technology is already widely used to make jewelry and other bespoke fashion items, in dental laboratories to produce crowns, bridges and implants, as well as in the production of hearing aids and prostheses, offering patients a perfect fit. Furthermore, 3D printing can be used to make vehicles such as the Chevrolet Impala to cut costs to print out prototype parts. 3D printing is particularly suited to low-volume, short production runs offering companies a more flexible, cost-effective and speedy alternative to traditional mass production methods.


An ORDbot Quantum 3D printer
An ORDbot Quantum 3D printer

Futuristic Car Body Made Possible Through 3D Printing
Futuristic Car Body Made Possible Through 3D Printing

Material Jetting Multi- Material 3D Printer
Material Jetting Multi- Material 3D Printer

Related Links.

3D Metal Printing Video:

Buy Your Own 3D Printer:

Brief History of 3D Printing & Different 3D Printing Techniques:

An Infograph on the History of 3D Printing:

One Topic that has Caused Controversy: The 3D Printing of Guns:

Assignment Guidelines:
A description of the topic, a discussion of its applications as IT / ICT, a couple of relevant images, and a list of related and relevant links. Aim for 2-3 paragraphs each describing your topic and its applications, 2-3 images, and 5 or more related links. All group members must contribute!

Individual Group Member Duties:
Antoinette & Savannah- Description
Antoinette- Images
Casey & Mitchel- Applications
Adam- Related Links & made wiki page