Printable limbs and organs, printable guns, printable pizza?! This technology will change our lives.
A 3D printer is similar to a normal printer, however a normal printer produces ink on paper. 3D printers, on the other hand, layer atoms on top of each other to create, or print, actual 3D objects.
It sounds fascinating, right? But 3D printing is certainly an invention that did not occur overnight. What is known as 3D printing now was once known as rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping has been in use for many years now, and it involves an engineer designing an object as a computerized aided design file, or CAD. This file would then be sent to machines, which would produce the 3D object.
The only problem with this early type of 3D printing is that the plastics and the metals that were used were just not of a high-enough quality to be used as anything other than a prototype. Although the machine could produce the parts designed, the end product didn't have structural integrity and was only used to design things that engineers wanted to see a life-size model of.
Via Lavan, Alexander Crépin, Denis Pennel, Kenneth Mikkelsen, Margarida Sá Costa