Barely a decade ago, 3D printers were in existence but were expensive machines reserved for factories and well-heeled corporations. They were all but unknown outside the small circles of professionals that made and used them.
With prices dropping and ease of use increasing, 3D printing is heading mainstream.
Nowadays almost everything from aerospace components to toys are being built with the help of 3D printers.
- Many 3D printers are capable of printing with more than one material at a time, opening the way up for many complex technical applications of 3D printers.
- 3D printing is profoundly defined by Digital Fabrication.
“Although 3D printers have only gotten popular and hyped recently, 3D printers were first invented in the late 80’s. They have been under development for quite some time. With the expiration of Stratasys’s patent in 2007 of fused deposition modelling technology (the cheapest type of 3D printing technology technology), a whole wave of 3D printer manufacturers was created, thus creating the hype we see today.
3D printing is an excellent way to translate an idea into a physical object. Fabrication is nothing new, but a 3D printer is a lot more practical, safer, and lower maintenance than a CNC mill or investment casting.”