What is 3D printing?

Printing on paper ? God, that is so 2012. Get modern, dude! OK, maybe 3D printing isn’t THAT popular, it has become a phenomenon. While the concept of 3D printing existed for quite sometime, it was only during the second half of 2013 that prices started coming down. In this article we explore the concept of 3D printing.

What is 3D printing?

3D printing. The name gives it away : Printing, only on a 3D scale.

3D objects are printed by the process of additive manufacturing , in which objects are created layer by layer.

It differs from traditional subtractive manufacturing in which the object is created by removing layers of material. So 3D printing results in less wastage.

What stuff can I print by 3D printing?

Anything. Anything at all. You can make 3D printed guns, dresses, boards, figurines, etc. Even food. And body parts.

Watch this video

3d printed pizzaA 3D-printed pizza that astronauts might one day be able to dig into (Photo: Anjan Contrac...

The only limit is your imagination.

What will be the implications of 3D printing?

As 3D printing depends on additive manufacturing rather than subtractive manufacturing, it results in less wastage and so is eco friendly.

As 3D printers go mainstream, people will be able to make action figures and figurines themselves. This would have a HUGE impact on the toys and action figures industry.

3D printing will be a godsend to DIY hobbyists as now they can print their own parts and boards and so save money.

How can I get my hands on a 3D printer and how much will it cost me?

Currently you can get a 3D printer for as little as $499 and for as much as upwards of 10000$ for professional ones.

Some notable 3D printers in the market are : MakerBot, SolidDoodle .

MakerBot 3d printer

Ok I now have a 3D printer, what do I print?

Great, you have a 3D printer! Now what to print? Well, you can search for 3D designs on the internet. Some are free, while others are paid. Or you can make your own with standard CAD or 3D modelling software.

You can even make 3D replicas of real word objects by printing scans of objects from a 3D scanner.



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