3D printing is a processes in which materials are joined or solidified under computer control to create a three dimensional object. 3D printing is used in both rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing. Objects that are created with a 3D printer can be of almost any shape or geometry and they’re typically produced using digital model data from a 3D model. Take a look below for 26 more fascinating and interesting facts about 3D printing.
1. The concept of 3D printing dates to the early 1980s, when inventor Chuck Hull issued a patent for a system for generation three-dimensional objects by creating a cross-sectional pattern of the object to be formed.
2. The 3D printing market is expected to grow at 23% annually through 2020, reaching $8.4 billion dollars.
3. In Belgium, biomedical specialists implanted a 3D printed titanium jawbone into an 83 year old woman.
4. NASA has made a 3D printed pizza to feed astronauts in outer space.
5. 3D printing can improve defense systems by helping to create complex weaponry. Defense experts claim that the technology can, for example, be used to create weapons so small that they’re almost impossible to detect.
6. The Photonic Professional GT is a 3D printer that can create objects of widths as small as a human hair. This printer has extended the applications of 3D printing into fabrication of micro and nano structures.
7. 3D printing has changed many homes into small factories, where one can create anything they want. With a 3D printer, a person can create industry level items such as violins, guitars, rings, jewellery, toy cars and even a bicycle.
8. 3D printing is now being used to make many conventional organs required for transplants, so there’s less of a wait or a need for donors. Organs are able to be quickly fabricated when needed, which means that many more lives will be saved.
9. After the success of creating some organs and structures through 3D printing, scientists are now working on how to create artificial limbs using the technology.
10. Widespread adoption and application of 3D printing will reduce the price of products substantially, by eliminating the need to ship items and thus, have no need to pay for shipping charges.
11. 3D printing can produce products faster than the original mass production methods. Fast product and delivery of products to the market will increase customer satisfaction and the standards of living.
12. The 3Doodler Printing Pen is a pen that can be used to print 3D objects in the air.
13. Many modern 3D printers can now use materials such as steel, silver, and gold to create better and more durable products.
14. The RepRap Project is a 3D printing open source project that teaches you how to build a home with a 3D printer.
15. Unlike mass manufacturing, or deductive manufacturing, where pieces are cut from raw materials and assembled into the final product, 3D printing makes objects by adding materials layer by layer.
16. While there is a lot of material wastage in mass manufacturing, there is hardly any wastage in 3D printing. This translates to low costs of production and cheaper products.
17. 3D printing started with stereolithography technology in 1984, which used UV lasers to solidify photopolymer for creation of 3D parts layer by layer.
18. The process of printing something is like the process of printing an image on a standard home printer, but the 3D printer applies one coat of paint while the 3D printer adds more and more layers of the material.
19. The Nokia Lumia 820 housing was 3D printed and it took the Makerbot printer less than a day to finish it.
20. Scientists already know how to print human organs, skin, bones and a lot of tissue. Therefore, it seems likely that some scientists have declared that it’s possible to print out an entire human being.
21. Thanks to 3D printing, creating props for movies has become a lot easier and faster than before. For example, 3D printed products can be seen in movies such as, Iron Man, The Hobbit, Jurassic Park, Avatar, The Terminator, Real Steel, ParaNorman and The Avengers.
22. It’s currently planned to sent a robot, instead of humans, to the Moon. The robot will be able to build the infrastructure on the surface of the Moon using 3D printing.
23. NASA is planning on using lunar dust to print a base on the Moon. The same technology is already being used for the astronauts to repair or create a duplicate of broken equipment.
24. 3D printing is already being used for education as it allows young students to realize their original ideas.
25. Model Dita Von Teese became the first star to put on a 3D printed dress. The dress was made out of 3,000 parts and emphasized the benefits of Dita’s curvaceous figure.
26. HP is planning to produce 3D printers. The company that became famous for producing and manufacturing conventional printers is now testing the market with their version of the 3D printer.