WHAT IS 3D PRINTING? 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to various processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object. In 3D printing, successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry, and are produced from a 3D model or other electronic data source. A 3D printer is a type of industrial robot.
Futurologists such as Jeremy Rifkin believe that 3D printing signals the beginning of a third industrial revolution, succeeding the production line assembly that dominated manufacturing starting in the late 19th century. Using the power of the Internet, it may eventually be possible to send a blueprint of any product to any place in the world to be replicated by a 3D printer with “elemental inks” capable of being combined into any material substance of any desired form.
3D SCANNER vs 3D COPIER A 3D copier is a copier that can copy any solid objects into another one. A 3D scanner is a device that analyzes a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance (e.g. color). The collected data can then be used to construct digital three-dimensional models.
Many different technologies can be used to build these 3D-scanning devices; each technology comes with its own limitations, advantages, and costs. Many limitations in the kind of objects that can be digitized are still present, for example, optical technologies encounter many difficulties with shiny, mirroring or transparent objects. For example, industrial computed tomography scanning can be used to construct digital 3D models, applying non-destructive testing.
HOW DOES 3D PRINTING WORK? It all starts with making a virtual design of the object you want to create. This virtual design is made in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file using a 3D modeling program (for the creation of a totally new object) or with the use of a 3D scanner (to copy an existing object). A 3D scanner makes a 3D digital copy of an object.
3d scanners use different technologies to generate a 3d model such as time-of-flight, structured / modulated light, volumetric scanning and much more.
Recently, many IT companies like Microsoft and Google enabled their hardware to perform 3d scanning, a great example is Microsoft’s Kinect. This is a clear sign that future hand-held devices like smartphones will have integrated 3d scanners. Digitizing real objects into 3d models will become as easy as taking a picture. Prices of 3d scanners range from very expensive professional industrial devices to 30 USD DIY devices anyone can make at home.
Many things have been printed, such as food, body parts, and skin, hamburgers, guns, a beak for a Falcon, peanut butter, a 1-story house. Maybe you could even print phones, make toys, make computers and make furniture.
Here are some links that give an overview:
Some specific things that can be printed, with some videos and my short summaries:
1. 3D printed clothes: 3D printed clothes are sometimes for fashion. Girls like to design their own cloths with 3D printing.I think we should make men’s clothing too.
Make a nice and cool blue suit for men. This video is about a woman design clothes
from a 3D printer.
2. 3D printed body parts: They use ink called “Bio Ink” that can make body parts. They have made: hair, skin, liver, kidney, and lots of more things. And they use these body parts to put or replace the humans’ organs. This video is about 3D printer make live body parts.
3. 3D printed tools: If you don’t have a tool you’ll need to buy it from the store. But you can print your own tools. I think you should combine them, for example, a wrench+screwdriver that will be a great idea. This video is about 3D printed wrenches.
4.3D printed cars: How can they print cars! They print the part and assemble them. This video is about the first printed car.
5. 3D printed house: The printer must be huge and I wonder how did they carry it. They use cement as ink and they can make a one-floor house less than one day. This video is about ten houses printed in 24 hours.