3d printing is here and beginning to achieve mainstream success. If you haven’t seen or heard of these yet you soon will. A 3d printer is similar to a standard home inkjet printer however instead of printing using ink they print with melted plastic. By allowing the plastic to dry instantly they can print layer upon layer of plastic until there is a solid object remaining. Think of it like a baker making a multi tiered wedding cake and building layer upon layer until the cake is finished.It can be used to create models, prototypes, parts, fashion accessories and even has a lot of uses in the medical industry.So why is it gaining so much exposure? Need a part for your car? As it is now you’ll go to your local car dealership, which’ll place an order for the part to be shipped in from china where it is mass produced. The cost and waiting time alone could be substantial. Using a 3d printer you will simply download a file directly from the car manufacturer and simply 3d print the part right from your own home in a couple of hours.
3d printers print via a computer aided design file which is created via specialised software like autocad. CAD files can be downloaded from sites like Thingiverse (www.thingiverse.com) and Shapeways (www.shapeways.com) where users can print objects like full chess sets, Christmas decorations, jewellery, phone cases, tablets stands and more. There is virtually no limit to what can be printed.3D printers are available to purchase from Harvey Norman Blanchardstown and Carrickmines with prices starting from €1399
In Short: 3D printers are coming, making it possible to create almost anything you can think of at home. What will you do with yours?