Three dimensional printing is another name for Additive Manufacturing.Different from conventional manufacturing technology, 3D printing is a revolutionary one which can print three dimensional objects by progressively adding materials with the aid of 3D digital blueprint designing.
How a 3D printer works
3D printing is not a new thing. This idea originated from America in the late 19th century, and been realized and popularized in 1980s.But for many years, 3D printers were used in this way for prototyping, mainly in the aerospace, medical and automotive industries.With more materials being developed and the technology matures, 3D printing are used in a more large range of fields, and the production of finalized items can also be realized.
Stratasys, a company based in Minneapolis which makes 3D printers that employ plastic-deposition technology, use their own machines to print parts that are, in turn, used to build more printers. Stratasys is even trying to print a car, or at least the body of one, for Kor Ecologic, a company in Winnipeg, whose boss, Jim Kor, is developing an electric-hybrid vehicle called Urbee.Maybe someday in the future, you could download a 3D car design drawing on the internet, and revise it as we like, then send it to a 3D printing factory, after several days even several hours, a car labeled your name would be send to your home!
Jim Kors printed the model, next, the car Astronauts using 3D printers in space capsule
Not only foreign companies have started to invest in 3D printing industry, Chinese companies are also interested in this emerging technology. 3D printing technology mainly originate from developed countries, like America, Israel, Germany. Companies like 3D systems, EOS, Stratasys have core competencies on making industrial 3D printers, which are used to print precise equipment components. 3D printing industry has just started, but has already made great achievements. Unlike foreign companies who are concentrate on produce industrial 3D printers, Chinese companies are more capable in making home-use 3D printers than industrial ones. The mini 3D printers have lower price, an ordinary family can afford one easily. With a mini 3D printer at home, you can DIY simple daily items like vases, toys, cups.etc. The fun of DIY gives you and your family happy times and good quality of life.
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These two pictures above are products made by EinStart 3D printer, which made by a Chinese company, Shining 3D. With this desktop 3D printer, you can print unique decoration to make your home special.
That is how EinStart looks like. Does it magical and cute? Dig your imagination right now! Design a gadget and use this 3D printer to print it out, you are lifes designer!
The market prospect of 3D printer is obviously huge and bright. Based on a commercial analysis report, in the year 2012, the market scale of global additive manufacturing industry has reached 2.2 billion dollars, and this market will still increase at the speed of 20%. By the year 2021, the industry scale may reach 10.8 billion dollars, which is five times larger than the present.
Of course, at present, the limit of material and difficulty in producing complex final products, and the high price of industrial 3D printers together hinder the 3D printings popularization. But the fact we can not deny is 3D printing will definitely cause a revolution of technology and life style.