The Dawn Of A New Era
Right now the worlds of blue-chip technology and manufacturing are colliding with the dawn of 3D printing. This is very much the frontier of a new age as 3D printing is set to completely change the way we think about manufacturing. A vast array of products have already been successfully developed using 3D printing, from fully-working guns to prosthetic limbs and even working aircraft! It’s a very exciting time to be on the cusp of this virginal technology and to watch it mature. There have been huge pushes by 3D printer companies to drive manufacturing costs down as much as possible and make 3D printers affordable for every household. 3D printers can still be a bit on the expensive side at the moment but the technology has matured quickly and there is a vast community out there using 3D printers with which you can share ideas and schematics. You are almost literally only limited to your imagination!
Fun For The Family
Now’s a great time to get involved in 3D printing, whether you’re a techie or a parent looking to give their children a head start on what will no doubt eventually become a commonplace technology. As aforementioned, it is possible to download schematics from the internet that allow you to print pre-made models. As such, it’s recommended that you have a fibre optic internet connection!
Printing pre-made models is exciting at first but it’s more fun to try to make your own models and schematics. You can use virtually any 3D modelling software, but professional 3D modelling software can be very expensive and they very often require a steep learning curve which makes the use of them rather impractical for most families. Fortunately there is a service called Sketchup Make which provides modelling software which is free for home and personal use. It’s designed to be easy to use and comes with a ’3D warehouse’ repository of models other users have created, so it’s easy to either start from scratch or build on top of existing designs depending on how you prefer to learn.
Fun And Practical
Once you develop sufficient modelling skills then you’ll find 3D printing goes from a novel concept to a very handy household technology. Practically anything made of plastic that you use around the house can be replicated with a 3D printer. Lost the battery cover to your TV remote? You can print another. Want to take your children’s drawings and turn them into 3D toys? The sky is the limit once you get the hang of it and there are an almost limitless amount of things you can make with 3D printing.
3D printing is still a fledgling technology but it has made a big impact in the short time it has been around. It’s definitely something that requires investing a lot of time and effort but it can pay dividends in the end if you stick with it!