What do you need to know about 3D printers?

Science Fiction becomes science fact

The world is changing faster then we ever thought possible and when we look at all the fancy new gadgets available out there in the world, it's hard to imagine what life was like twenty or thirty years ago because so much has changed. One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the development of 3D printers and the technology to put in a program and have your printer make an exact model of the design you entered into the computer. While these printers are just getting started with the methodology, it is still incredible to see what one of these printers can accomplish. Let's look at some of the details of 3D printing that you need to know before you explore this new technology more.

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What are 3D printers anyway?

A 3D printer works with additive technology which means that when the printer is making your 3D item, it is actually building that item layer by layer. Each layer is built upon the top of then last layer so that you have something created similar to an old style printer that would print out its project a line at a time upon the paper. Each layer is built at each passing moment. This is a lengthy process, but at the end of the build process, you have a complete model of your desired object with fine detail just like you asked for. At this point, 3D printers are not a cheap option for manufacturing items because of the newness of the technology and the amount of training that you need in order to utilize them correctly. As time passes, you will find the printers will get easier to use as well as less expensive, but it will take some time for us to reach that point.

What is so great about 3D printing anyway?

3D printers provide a wide variety of options that can be used in manufacturing and medical situations that have need of superior options. While most of the items produced by 3D printers us Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) with a heated plastic element, This is not practical for many applications but in time the plastics can be combined with other materials in order to allow users to create items with various material outcomes. Once this becomes possible, we could produce many different kinds of items including clothing an medical resources. This would allow the United States to start selling items produced in our country at lower prices because the cost of production be reduced significantly, especially if the speed of printing could be brought down significantly.

Are there any negatives to 3D printers?

Since a 3D printer can recreate anything that you enter into it from your computer program, it seems pretty obvious that 3d printers will likely lead to an increase in counterfeit items being produced throughout the country. This leads to great concern about the influx of artificial items, since there is always a market for fake copies of items. If you visit New York City, you will see plenty of vendors out on the street offering up knock off copies of expensive designer items at a discounted price. This could be a huge issue for designer labels, but one of the benefits of creating items with 3D printers would be a reduction in the cost of manufacturing so that there will be less loss felt from knock offs being sold.

Are 3D printers worth the effort?

While the cost of 3D printing is still quite large compared to the benefits of production, there will come a time when this technology is the norm and when that happens it will change the way that we deal with production as well as selling items throughout the world. As we get to that point, there will be new methods that develop as well that will help to enable companies to protect their assets as well as provide customers with the items that they need to improve their lives. While we can't be certain what will happen with the new 3D printer technology, it is an exciting time to see where 3D printers will take us in the future and beyond.