12 Facts about 3D Printing

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9. 3D Printing Can Lower Production Costs

3D Printing Can Lower Production Costs

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While the technology is still developing, businesses in different industries are increasingly turning to 3D printing to help lower production and manufacturing costs. Quality commercial printers can create specialized parts more easily and more quickly than traditional processes such as molding or forging. This helps companies save big on specialized parts that used to cost a fortune to produce. 3D printing also allows companies to manufacture parts on demand, cutting down on the cost of carrying stock. Beyond mass production, 3D printing lets companies create their own tools for far cheaper than it costs to buy them.

10. 3D Printers Print Objects in Layers

3D Printers Print Objects in Layers

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The process of 3D printing is actually quite similar to normal printing, but it extends the printing into a series of vertical layers in order to create 3D objects Even basic consumer 3D printers come with printing software that can interpret an object’s design and break it down into discrete layers. Known as a slicer, this tool separates an object’s layers by resolution and other factors in order to print them in 3D. After the objects is sectioned off into different layers, the printer physically assembles the different layers one at a time to “print” it.

11. 3D Printing Is Coming to the Classroom

3D Printing Is Coming to the Classroom

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The most forward-thinking schools are already incorporating 3D printing into their curriculum, particularly art and design programs. Preparing their students for future careers that will inevitably incorporate 3D printing, these schools teach students to use 3D modeling tools such as Google’s SketchUp. From engineering to fashion design, 3D printing will soon be everywhere, and schools are preparing students for the unique challenges that this new technology brings.

12. 3D Printing Has Been Around Since the 80s

3D Printing Has Been Around Since the 80s

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Although it may seem utterly modern (or even futuristic), 3D printing technology has actually existed for decades, dating all the way back to the 1980s. Charles D. Hull received the first 3D printing patent in 1986 for a machine that printed materials using the stereolithography technique. Early 3D printing devices were extremely expensive, often costing $100,000 or more. Hull later founded 3D Systems, a company that continues to produce 3D printing technology to this day.

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