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3D printing: why designers are taking this technology into a new dimension – The Australian Financial Review

by • January 25, 2016 • No Comments

by Stephen Todd
If I may 3D print an elephant, it may be the one in the room. The behemoth we find it complex to get around, not knowing really where to place it. The elephant that is 3D printing itself.
Since its invention in the mid-1980s, rapid prototyping – as 3D printing is additional properly known – has been utilized by mega-industrials such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce and NASA to create experimental prototypes in malleable plastics that, once perfected, may go into production and become metal components in their quite, quite expensive machines. When the original patents for this innovation began to expire of 2013, the price of 3D printing machines dropped dramatically – and weight hysteria rose exponentially. Predictions came thick and swift that equite home may be equipped with a 3D printing device capable of whipping up an espresso machine, a typewriter, a gun.
No, we’re not there. Not yet, anyway. There’s little doubt that additive layer making, of that rapid prototyping is one kind, can alter the way designers ponder, what they create and how they create. But it is actually yet in its infancy. 3D printing equipment is yet relatively expensive and notoriously fallible. Only a limited spectrum of materials is feasible, predominantly plastics, although composite forms are being utilized to approximate wood, metals and stone.
No surprise, and so, that 3D printing yet exists predominantly in the geekosphere, the realm of bedroom adventurists hooked up to high-speed Wi-Fi, high-resolution scanners and megapixel printing device units. Not the kind of stuff that is definitely on the market in equite home, nor actually in equite corner keep. Unlikely actually at your local library.


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