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A Guide to 3D Printing Are you one of those who have heard about 3D printing but has no idea what the hype is all about? Well, much of what you heard is true but to know exactly what 3D printing is, below are some fast facts. Simply put, 3D printing is a way of producing a solid physical object from a digital 3D prototype. The reason “printing” is in the term can be attributed to the assembly process which is similar to printing ink on paper. Many 3D printers in use have base materials that are laid down in layers to subsequently complete the finished product. It is an additive process which starts by printing the bottom layer and adding the other layers on top of it until the object is rendered. 3D printing is actually not a recent invention for it has been in use in industrial settings for quite some time now. It has become more mainstreamed as the hardware got smaller and less expensive, and the software became more user-friendly over time. 3D printers have never been easier on the pocket than they are now and are compatible with a wide range of 3D modeling programs. The printer is fashionable in the DIY community where people like making customized products and parts.
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Ordinary people may view 3D printers now as something out of a Star Trek movie but that is about to change. There are efforts to come up with a 3D printer and copier that can replicate physical items and print them easily for anyone to do. In the near future, 3D printing will become as ordinary as photocopying that can be done by anyone.
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You can buy your own chocolate printer that can 3D print anything you want in chocolate. You can make an action figure of yourself with the 3D print of another printer. Research and development in the medical field is tinkering with 3D printed prosthetics. At home, do-it-yourselfers’ printing projects include custom mounts for webcams, smartphone cases, and broken appliance parts to extend the life of an expensive equipment. 3D printing gives anyone the capability to print their own objects, the parts of bigger items, or even complex and ambulatory gizmos. If you see yourself doing 3D printing in all seriousness, buying your own printer is the way to go. It remains costly but the price tag has gone down a great deal from the time it was introduced. But if the price of ownership is too steep for you, you can search for a local hackerspace that has a 3D printer for use by paying members. You might get lucky and even find a community college, vocational school or local library that has a 3D printer you can use.