Consumer 3D printing: what does it mean?
Consumer 3D printing: the basics
To understand the concept of consumer 3D printing you must understand first the idea behing 3D printing. 3D printing is a techonology that is revolutionizing the way we create objects and is part of a process known as additive manufacturing where objects are created by adding material layer by layer. This allows to create many different objects at a fraction of the cost and time, compared to the traditional production processes like forging, molding and sculpting – called the subtractive manufacturing that leads to more material wasting.
Many companies already found the potential of 3D printing and big corporations use it as industrial prototyping and manufacturing process but one of the biggest revolution of all times is not only happening inside companies but in every home – and that’s the heart of consumer 3D printing: with the increase of desktop 3D printers on the market, everyone is able to create their own 3D printed objects, from toys to clothes to anything that you can actually imagine. Thanks to the 3D printing low production costs, there’s even people creating their own business at home supported by desktop 3D printers.
To create a 3D printing object, first you’ll need a blue print of the object you want to print (for that you can use modeling softwares or simply find free models on the internet that you can download), a good slicer software and then a 3D printer machine. Sounds easy and actually it is, compared to the traditional manufacturing techniques.
Consumer 3D printing: the new revolution
Simplicity and lower production costs are the key factor for the popularity of this new technology and that’s why consumer 3D printing is increasing everyday. Nowadays, the DIY and Maker culture are enriched by the power of desktop 3D printers by giving regular people the ability to take an idea and create it into a finished product – this is the heart of the consumer 3D printing concept.
Dale Dougherty in the Maker Documentary said “What we see in the Maker Movement, is that a relatively small amount of people can have a big impact. You don’t necessarily need the world largest company behind you”. We believe that’s completly true: consumer 3D printing is revolutionizing the way we see and make things, leading to new discoveries that will change our world completely.
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