Get Wired January 2015: Byte-sized Tech Tips

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What is 3-D printing?

Learn about this new way of producing things.

Building layer by layer

3-D printing creates threedimensional objects from digital plans by adding thin layers of materials on top of one another. Also known as additive manufacturing, the process is similar to stacking layers of batter successively to form a kueh lapis.

Printing without ink

Various materials such as plastic, rubber, metal, edible ingredients like chocolate, or even human cells can be used as raw material. This means you could one day create a replica of an organ, complete with blood vessels. A wide range of things – from jewellery, pasta and medicine to machine parts, cars and houses – can already be 3-D printed.

Shaping our future

Faster and cheaper than most traditional manufacturing methods, 3-D printing also allows us to move away from mass production to custom production, where goods can be created to fit each individual. Amazon, for instance, lets shoppers customise 3-D printed mini-figurines of themselves. Smaller and cheaper 3-D printers are also enabling laymen to make their own objects at home.

Try 3-D printing at the NationalDesign Centre’s IDA Labs orPrototyping Lab.

  • POSTED ON
    Jan 5, 2015
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