Three dimensional (3D) printer has been around for quite some time, the first working 3D printer is said to have been manufactured in 1984. They are used to produce a solid three-dimensional object from a digital model; they can manufacture designs of any shape and size, and are mostly used by architecture and engineering firms to develop prototypes of their designs.
When they were first manufactured 3D printers were very expensive, some of them cost over $20,000 without adding the price of the materials.
They were out of the price range of regular consumers, but were a solid investment for companies. Instead of giving a 2D presentation, they could literally bring their ideas to life with 3D printers.
Today the price of 3D printers are drastically reduced, they are now cheap enough for individuals and small business owners to afford. You can buy the unassembled printers for $600 if you are one of the people that like to get their hands dirty, and know how things work.
If you don't care about the details of how the printer works, you can get a cheap 3D printer for $800.
The way they work is that you have to create a design you want to print using computer aided design (CAD) which helps improve the quality of the design, and creates a virtual blue print of the object you are trying to build, it then divides it into digital cross-sections so it can be built layer by layer.
The cross-sections are a guide for the printer to make the object the right shape and size you want.
For people who are not comfortable creating their designs, there are designs available for sale and download on the internet. After completing the design, it is sent to the 3D printer where you will decide what material it should be made from, examples of which is plastic, paper, metal, and rubber.
The printer will make the initial layer of the design, and keep on adding layers until it is done. It usually takes a few hours or days to finish the job, depending on the size and complexity of the design.
The Desktop 3D Printer: This printer created exact 3D replicas of objects like a phone case or bracelet. It is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8, and the Mac OSX. Priced at $1300 which can be seen as cheap 3d printer, it is great for people just starting out with 3D printers.
3D Systems Cube X Trio Triple-Color 3D Printer: This is a state of the art printer that can be used by individuals and professionals alike. It can create objects as large as a basketball. At $4,000, it is not a printer for casual use.
People are just starting to tap into the potential of 3D printers, individuals have started using it to make designs they use for jewelry and accessories they sell, the medical field have used them to make prosthetic limbs for humans and animals, and even a gun company is trying to make plans for a 3D plastic gun available to people with 3D printers, (the plans are currently on hold because of government intervention).
3D printing is rapidly expanding, and it will soon change the way the manufacturing companies do business because people will stop buying certain products if they can duplicate it with a 3D printer.
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