New developments and curiosities from a changing global media landscape: People, Spaces, Deliberation brings trends and events to your attention that illustrate that tomorrow's media environment will look very different from today's, and will have little resemblance to yesterday's.
3D printing, also known as "additive manufacturing", is changing the way products are created and reproduced. It makes it possible to create a part from scratch in just hours and allows designers and developers to experiment with new ideas or designs without extensive time or assembly expenses.
Using a 3D computer modeling program or a 3D scanner (which makes a 3D copy of an object for a 3D modeling program), designers can now create or reproduce items for 3D printing. Once the design or copy of the object is prepared, the 3D modeling program slices it into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers. This model is then uploaded in the 3D printer, which creates the object by printing layer upon layer of material. Each layer is blended together, resulting in one three-dimensional object.
The most common material used in 3D printing at the moment is plastic, but other materials like ceramic and cloth can also be used.
3D printing has many potential applications, from aerospace components to toys. One of the most important applications, though, is in the medical industry. With 3D printing, surgeons can produce mockups of parts of the human body and, in the near future, prosthetics and replacement body parts may also be printed.
3D printing can also provide great savings on assembly costs and in supply chains. The ability to print an object in-house provides business with the ability to quickly reprint assembled products.
To learn more about the applications of 3D printing, watch this video.
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