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3D printing comes home, and takes to the skies
Posted: 16 July 2012

Or more specifically, to my own home. Kurt Vining brought his Printrbot round to our house on the weekend and printed out a couple of household gadgets in ABS plastic.

There is a huge difference between printing models or replicas of actual items, sometimes called rapid prototyping, and actually producing useful products or component parts, also referred to as additive manufacturing. At the level of a Printrbot the distinction is blurred, as many of the items downloaded from Thingiverse would be considered decorative replicas, but the desktop home 3D printer can also produce fairly high resolution plastic parts - for example, the gears and base parts for the printer itself.

Additive manufacturing becomes much more exciting when we can print entire working products like a cell phone, without requiring any post assembly. Processes are already being developed for printing solar panels and lithium batteries in this way. Even more exciting is the prospect of being able to print entire aircraft structures - perhaps by 2050.


https://twitter.com/dougv/status/224090935884124161/photo/1/large

3D disruption: How about traveling on a printed plane?
16 July 2012
Just how far, and large, can 3D printing technology go? Read this blog post by Charlie Osborne on Cutting Edge.
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