A Different Dimension

Cube 3d printerPrinting a car part from your home, building a house in 20 hours, or an entire neighborhood within a couple weeks seems unrealistic. But, with the creation of 3D printing, more professionally referred to as “additive manufacturing,” these goals are not too far-fetched. How is this possible? To break it down simply, the 3D printer uses layer-wise, fabrication technology, meaning that the printing begins with a digital file. With the aid of a 3D modeling program, a computerized 3D construction of an object is created. While this file is being sent to the printer, the software is slicing the design into thousands of horizontal layers. The printer then works in layers as it prints the 3D object. From smaller projects such as printing tools for machines, or simply decorative trinkets for the home, 3D printing is potentially the “next-big-thing” in the tech-world. Even bigger, researchers are looking to use this technology to produce more affective and beneficial products for society as a whole. Scientists are studying how to use the 3D printer to make artificial tissue and limbs as well as human organs using a person’s own cells. With an outstanding amount of homeless, and disaster-stricken people across the world, innovators are also looking into the 3D printing of housing complexes and emergency shelters. Each day more investors are expressing interest in this new technology, opening up a window for more groundbreaking discoveries and new answers to old problems.

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