3D Printers: What is the Hype About?

The world of technology and science is expanding and changing exponentially. Futuristic inventions that were talked about for generations have arrived.

Telephones you could carry around with you, computers in every home, and the ability to see your family when you talked to them on the phone.

That future has arrived, and the things of science fiction are a reality. Printers have evolved from the mimeograph machine, with a roller and purple ink, to electric copiers, with black ink that didn’t smell funny.

Now they collate, staple, print photographs and send faxes. Enter the world of 3D printers and pens. No paper or ink required.

What is 3D printing?

In a normal printing process, information is fed to a printer, via computer generated instructions. Ink is laid onto paper, and your 2D document is generated.

With a 3D printer, an object is scanned or created in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) program. The object is then divided into .15mm thick slices, hundreds of one dimensional layers. Each layer is a set of instructions that are fed into the 3D printer.

A layer of powdered polymer is distributed evenly across a platform. Infrared lasers scan across the layer creating the pattern from the first layer of instructions. The laser melts the polymer. A second layer of powder is applied, crystallizing the materials.

The process is repeated until the object has been completed. The excess powder is removed, and the completed object emerges.

For a more in-depth explanation about the process go to 3d Printing.

maker replicator 2

What can be made with a 3D printer?

With a 3D printer, a company can design and create their own prototypes. Something that looks good on paper may not actually look as nice, or work as well, in reality.

By creating a prototype, a manufacturer can look at a physical representation of their final product, and make changes to their products.

The cost associated with prototypes and new product development can be greatly reduced with the purchase of an affordable 3d printer.

In the world of science, archaeologists can use the 3D printer to recreate artifacts, dinosaur bones and fossils.

Forensic science can recreate objects destroyed at a crime scene, enabling them to reconstruct what may have happened. Crime television and their fictional experiments meet forensic pathologists using 3D modeling.

In modern medicine, they are using layers of living tissue to recreate organs and body parts. Organ printing, or Computer Aided Tissue Layering is in development. One day, in the very near future, a limb will be regenerated with help from 3D printers.

The applications are endless limited only by the imagination.

Why would you want to own a 3D printer?

Hobbyists and cottage industries, are embracing the affordable home 3d printer. As with most technology, the prices are going down, and they are now more affordable than ever.

The beginning 3d printer price starts around $500, going up to $200,000 for manufacturers. From wearable clothing ideas that you make at home for personal wear, or develop as a cottage line, go to eCouterre.

What you can create with a personal 3D printer will knock your socks off, and then you could make a new pair! 3D printers are the next great thing to come along.

At Reprap Central there is a list of nearly 50 topics about 3D printing. Did you know there was a 3D printer that will print itself, so you can give one to a friend?

A 3D printer does not print with ink, but it does print with a wide range of materials from plastic, to metals, glass and yes, human cells. There is no limit to where the 3D printer will take you.

What is a 3D pen?

what is a 3d penThe 3d printer pen allows you to take your 2D drawings and turn them into three dimensional drawings. On paper, you can draw a square when you use an ink pen.

With the 3Doodle Pen, one of many 3d pen for sale, you can lift the pen off the paper, straight into the air, and draw a box; a three dimensional box. Plastic strands are inserted into the end of the pen, similar to a glue stick inserted into a glue gun.

The pen heats the plastic and melts it. With a press of a button, you dispense the melted plastic that hardens quickly. At $99, this is a fun gadget for creating whimsical jewelry from rings to earrings, to necklaces.

You can create sculptures, one of a kind decorations and clothing, given enough time and supplies. www.ThinkGeek.com has a short video demonstration of a 3d pen.

The world is three dimensional, and now you have access to 3D printers to recreate it.

From the size of a pen, to larger printers used in manufacturing. If you are looking for 3d printer for sale Makerbot.com has desk top digitizers starting at $800, and printers starting at $1300.

There are sites that share their programs. You can also share the designs you have created, or offer them for sale.

Start a small business out of your home, create a line of toys or personal accessories for your family. Hospitals are rapidly developing the technology to print body parts. In the world of fashion, you find yourself wearing a printed garment.

What was futuristic science is now available. The future, has arrived.

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