3D printing

3D printing

Three-dimensional printing is the process by which a variety of materials are combined and shaped with the use of a computer in order to manufacture a finished product. Similar in concept to the fictional invention from Star Trek, the replicator, 3D printers can theoretically be used in order to create anything it has the ingredients and blueprints to make. Yesterday’s science fiction is becoming today’s reality right before our eyes. The process of three dimensional printing is fairly simple when broken down step by step. The first step in 3D printing is the creation of a three dimensional model using your computer. This can be done by using a complex 3D modelling software, designed to allow the users to manually construct 3D objects. Or, you can just use a 3D scanner, which will create a digital copy of the object for you. Once you have a model of whatever it is you want to create with your printer, the design needs to be broken down. Specifically, in order to be able to print a three dimensional object, the model of the object must be broken down into hundreds or thousands of layers using a slicing program. This allows the 3D printer to produce your design layer by layer, creating a three dimensional object by stacking the layers back together. The sheer variety of ways that 3D printing can be used is almost hard to grasp. Today, it is being used in a number of different industries as a more effective …