Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TCT - Printing in 3D

I had heard of 3D printing before. However, I had assumed it involved printing creative cut-out patterns for complex objects to create 3D shapes by hand, the way we used to make cubes out of paper in elementary school.

Turns out I was completely wrong, and 3D printing is actually pretty friggin amazing! 3D printers *literally* create objects in 3 dimensions by solidifying layers of powder in specific patterns. The 2D patterns for each layer are obtained by using a computer to 'slice' the object into virtual layers - typically 10 layers to a millimeter. The platform that the powder rests on moves downward so that the layers are solidified exactly one on top of the other, thereby re-creating the original 3D object.

Here's a clip from Nat Geo Amazing that explains and demonstrates the process beautifully -




Oh, the possibilities!

1 comment:

  1. Lookie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RepRap_Project

    Tim built the Mendel ^_^

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