3-D Printing

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Key Terms(Vocab)
Important Individuals or Institutions
Links to Websites
Summary of Link
3-D Printer/
Additive Manufacturing/Rapid Prototyping



Additive Manufacturing is the process in which a machine is able to make digital blue prints into tangible models. This process is over all less expensive and more efficient.
The third link also talks about how the ability to generate 3D models greatly assists the learning process by having a physical representation of an object instead of trying to simply describe it.
CAD (Computer Aided Design)

Computer technology that assists in making 2D or 3D models. Software used often by architects or engineers. It can also be used to "simulate how a design will preform in the real world."
LOM (Laminated Object Manufacturing)

A process in which layers of plastic, paper, or metal are stacked and glued together and cut into shape by a laser.
X-Ray Crystallography

X-Ray Crystallography is a process where x-rays are sent through an object (usually crystals) where they refract and are picked up by a sensor. The sensor sends the information to a computer where a 3D model of the object can be accurately analyzed. Then, using a 3D printer this model can be recreated for further study.
Challenges/Problems with 3D Printing
  • The ability to print "virtually anything" could allow for the manufacturing of weapons and copyrighted designs. (http://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/3d-printing-has-a-bright-future-with-dark-problems.html)
  • 3D printers are expensive ($500-$2500)
  • The printing process is extremely slow (2 hours to over 2 days, depends on complexity of object)
  • The variety of objects that can be printed is limited in order to avoid copyright violations.
  • There are pressing questions around regulation. If something goes wrong with your bespoke 3D-printed cycle helmet, who should be at fault? The original designer? The business that printed the helmet? Or the supplier of materials?