Additive manufacturing has been used for various needs as tooling. Second to tooling first usages were in making miniseries of products known as rapid prototyping. This process caused big shifts in all industries for it lead to dramatic shortage of time to make new prototypes in very short time. This method was dramatically different from long used technology of subtracting which involved grinding tools of different kinds. As evolution of 3D Printing took place additive methods was used in the production of large series, for end users too.
Charles Hull, inventor of stereolithography and founder of 3D systems, holds a miniature version of himself printed by one of his company’s 3-D printers. Photo: European Patent Office
Truth told, additive methods work well if they are used in conjunction with classical methods and in near future commercial uses will use of many technologies in order to be on top of competing companies. Many of inventors have good point on additive technologies today and think that ways of doing business will adopt to 3D printing so business will close down as household printers will be used to make objects.
In stores today you can find 3D printers that use different spools of materials and colors and that means various products can be offered. 3D printing will be massively used in art, medicine, cars, aerospace, customization etc.
How to get started? For many of us it will be easy because easy to use CAD software makes it easy to design. These software tools make it great alternative for not tech-savvy people start using 3D printing for own prototypes and testing.
3D files are usually sent to desktop printer of our own or sent to printing service online. If you do own 3D printer it usually takes few hours for finished object and its normally made with ABS or PLA plastic. Some do use entry CAD software as Google ScetchUp and some high end 3DS MAX but in both cases user is not having limitation to ‘draw’ his imagination. Many of us would like just to make things and now you can design and make prototypes, hard to find parts, toys for your kids.