Thursday, 18 August 2011

The mind-blowing world of 3D printing

"Just as nobody could have predicted the impact of the steam engine in 1750 - or the printing press in 1450, or the transistor in 1950 - it is impossible to foresee the long-term impact of 3D printing. But the technology is coming, and it is likely to disrupt every field it touches."
The Economist, in a February 2011 leader

Even though engineers and designers have been using 3D printers for more than a decade, I'm still amazed by the possibilities. 3D printers have mostly been used to make prototypes quickly and cheaply before embarking on the expensive business of tooling up a factory to produce the real thing. As they have become more capable and able to work with a broader range of materials, including production-grade plastics and metals, the machines are increasingly being used to make final products too.

Here's how it works:


 This could be a really good Christmas present...

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