Friday, January 31, 2014

The evolution of affordable 3D Printing.

3D printing is already making waves. Soon it will be a part of each of our lives, and eventually maybe the way we purchase and create most of our things. Just like the dot matrix days, it all starts with a simple product that can deliver a reliable result. From there the industry takes off and eventually you have an affordable technology with many improvements that we see with color laser and ink jet printers today. MakerBot has given us that dot matrix printer, and now we are starting to see technology branch out in many directions from that one brilliant idea.

Here are some ground breaking advancements in 3D printing that I believe will keep moving us towards large scale, multi use, personal fabrication machines.

Stratasys, has begun work on multi-color, multi material machines. While these are built for the professional currently, it is easy to see that this might become part of our homes.

The construction of houses might never look the same. Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has been working on a project to allow a 3D printer to construct a house in just 24 hours. This could be a wildly amazing technology that will transform architecture in a big way. Imagine neighborhoods of houses constructed by methods that can build designs and shapes that were simply not possible with past methods of construction. That will give designers a great deal of power in the years to come.

Printing in plastic is one thing, but in order to build really useful items a bit more strength is needed. MarkForged is working on a project that will bring us the first Carbon Fiber 3D printer. This technology would allow designers to build using a material that has the strength to be used for all sorts of projects.

And finally the 3D printed pizza. Its true, cooking might not be the same. You might be able to engineer your foods, print them with needed medicines and healthy ingredients, and make them into all sorts of fancy shapes that where never possible before. This really could change how people eat all over the world, and on mars.

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