Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. 3D printing is considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes).
A materials printer usually performs 3D printing processes using digital technology. Since the start of the twenty-first century there has been a large growth in the sales of these machines, and their price has dropped substantially.
The technology is used in jewelry, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, and many other fields.
3D printing is poised to transform the world as we know it. Consumer goods will be personalised and produced on demand, while manufacturers will be able to use 3D printing to come up with radical new designs for everyday objects. But how will this happen, and when?
Researchers are working to revolutionise mealtimes for elderly people with swallowing problems – by 3D-printing their food.
Researchers are developing ways to repair skull fractures – or reconstruct faces damaged in accidents - by using live cells in 3D-printed implants.
A challenge for university researchers is to make the best use of any funding on their projects and anything that can save money should be welcomed.
Researchers have discovered that a naturally-occurring compound can be incorporated into three-dimensional (3-D) printing processes to create medical implants out of non-toxic polymers. The compound is riboflavin, which is better known as vitamin B2.
3D printing is getting ready to revolutionise space travel. ESA is paving the way for 3D-printed metals to build high-quality, intricate shapes with massive cost savings.
Making stuff on a 3D printer uses less energy—and therefore releases less carbon dioxide—than producing it en masse in a factory and shipping it to a warehouse.
The world’s first 3D printed human-scale structure seen here was designed and created by architects Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger out of plain sand.
Three-dimensional printers – once available to a small circle of high-tech firms and professionals – are now available to the general public. The ability to produce a prototype quickly and with minimal investment is a boon for the creative sector.
The largest 3-D printed rocket engine component NASA ever has tested blazed to life Aug. 22 during an engine firing that generated a record 20,000 pounds of thrust.
Engineers know that 3-D printed rocket parts have the potential to save NASA and industry money and to open up new affordable design possibilities for rockets and spacecraft.