Read about the world of technology and entrepreneurship from our very own student team!

Ahead of the Game – 3D Printing Revolution

Posted on 6/10/17

We’ve all heard the hype around 3D printing. This is not a new technology, in fact, it’s been used by the industry for some time now.

A 3D printer can print almost anything from clothing to cars, and even human body parts – think prosthetics. They are a new generation of machines and basically work by spitting out material, whether it be plastic, metal, or concrete. Multiple layers are essentially stacked one upon another in an additive process ultimately creating the complex 3D object. Some describe the process “like baking a sliced loaf of bread in reverse.”

There is no doubt 3D printing has a reached a tipping point. With its increasing popularity, it has become a lot more accessible whereas before it was very expensive and hard to operate.

The wonderful thing about 3D printing is that it’s extremely customizable and can easily fit certain requirements over conventional manufacturing processes. Things such as prosthetic limbs, or even organs are just one of the many possibilities of such technology.

But how does it work? The answer to that is in Computer Aided Design (CAD). Using one of the many CAD software products available, you can create 3D representations of an object, press print, and eagerly wait for your masterpiece to be produced.

What if instead of going to the store to buy a new coat hanger, all you had to do was walk over to the computer and print one out? Basically, if you can draw it, you could probably also 3D print it.

While it may be a while to have a 3D printer readily available in your home, you can be sure that the world will be a different place by then.

But if you can’t wait that long, be sure to pop into our brand new Unleash Space located in the former Engineering Library on 20 Symonds Street, where you can test out your creativity with the 3D printer with the help of our creative technologists. The opportunities are endless!

– US