3d printers

How 3D printers can inspire innovation and reduce waste

Although 3D printing tends to be seen as a new form of disruptive technology, the concept actually dates back to the 1940s when it was first described in science fiction. It emerged later in the 1970s when inventor Johannes F. Gottwald patented the Liquid Metal Recorder, a metal inkjet device that worked on a reusable surface by melting and remelting removable metal fabrication.

That doesn’t mean that today’s 3D printing technology isn’t innovative, but it does mean that the technology has a much longer history than most of us realize. Today, 3D printers are used at all levels to manufacture everything from physical houses and other residences to human organs.

So what exactly is 3D printing and how can we take advantage of technological advancements to use them in our daily lives? Here’s everything you need to know about modern 3D printers, including how much it would cost to buy one and what you can create with your own 3D printer.

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What is 3D printing?

Although 3D printing was once primarily used to create lower-quality prototypes and proof-of-concept products that needed to be built using traditional construction techniques and materials, the concept has rapidly progressed over the years. the last decade to cover a wide variety of uses and designs.

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the practice of creating a three-dimensional object from a drawing or digital file created virtually. The 3D printer works by printing consecutive rows of material until the final object is created, with each layer acting as a thin cross section of the overall object or product in question.

Advances in 3D printing have given rise to a wide range of uses and practices ranging from amateur and professional works of art and custom-made products to more advanced uses in the medical field. Most 3D printers are capable of creating products from start to finish in rapid succession, making the technology excellent for rapid prototyping and replication.

[Photo: Wladimir Bulgar/Science Photo Library/Getty Images]

How much does a 3D printer cost?

Entry-level 3D printers have become increasingly affordable over the past decade, with printers available for everyone from hobbyists to parents looking for STEM-inspired printers or creativity for kids. children. You can expect to pay between $100 and $300 for kid-friendly 3D printers and the 3D printing pens that come with them, and between $300 and $500 for entry-level 3D printers designed for hobbyists. and at home.

Professional-grade 3D printers are priced in a whole different price range – and while quality and capabilities can vary widely from printer to printer, you should expect to shell out between $1,500 and well. over $20,000 for a 3D printer capable of creating more complex printers. projects, such as sculptures and novelty or bespoke items.

Companies that use 3D printers to create more complex products, such as 3D-printed houses, automotive and aerospace parts, and even human organs, require an even greater financial commitment. Industrial 3D printers are not only hard to come by, but they will also get a company into six-figure territory.

[Photo: Wladimir Bulgar/Science Photo Library/Getty Images]

How does 3D printing reduce waste?

3D printing is not just a breakthrough for the housing and medical industries, advances in 3D printing are also seen as a major win for the environment and for companies committed to creating more durable products and goods.

Traditional manufacturing uses a lot more raw material: cutting pieces from larger pieces of metal or plastic and, therefore, a greater volume of waste and offcuts. 3D printing builds a structure or product layer by layer, leaving no waste or excess materials in the process.

The process of 3D printing prototypes and rapid reproduction is also much more streamlined than typical factory work; 3D printers operate quickly and efficiently – and largely error-free – reducing time and a company’s overall carbon footprint.

It should also be noted that 3D printing tends to use more sustainable and even recycled post-consumer raw materials, such as coffee grounds, dirt, and even algae and sawdust. This means much less reliance on materials such as steel and plastic.