3-D Printing




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BACKGROUND

3D-Printing is relatively new on the market and is changing technology in many ways. Documents are able to be printed in a way never thought before and opens up many opportunities for artist to really expand their horizons. 3D printing is a form of technology where a three dimensional object is created by laying down successive layers of material. This causes the product to become 3D. A use for 3D printing can be used for creating like prototypes for buildings or other objects.

In recent years there has been large growth in the sale of 3D printers. Also, the cost of 3D printers has declined. The technology finds use in many different fields such as, footwear, architecture, engineering and construction automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, and many others.

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COMPANIES THAT PRODUCE 3-D PRINTERS

- Fortus
- 3D Systems
- Solid Scape
- Stratasys
- Dimension Printing
- ZCorp

PROBLEMS

3D printers are still too expensive, slow and unreliable in many of cases. They need to become more efficient in order to significantly reduce the cost of making things. Also, small and medium-sized companies do simply not do 3D prints or do only very limited 3D printing through specialized third-party suppliers. Hopefully, in the future this will change will change.

LOOKING AHEAD

"Imagine a future in which a device connected to a computer can print a solid object. A future in which we can have tangible goods as well as intangible services delivered to our desktops or highstreet shops over the Internet. And a future in which the everyday "atomization" of virtual objects into hard reality has turned the mass pre-production and stock-holding of a wide range of goods and spare parts into no more than an historical legacy.
Such a future may sound like it is being plucked from the worlds of Star Trek. However, whilst transporter devices that can instantaneously deliver us to remote locations may remain a fantasy, 3D printers capable of outputting physical objects have been in development for over two decades." (explainingthefuture.com)



Links:

1) CADspan: 3D Printing Solutions
2) Objet