3D printing is changing the way we produce objects, from tools and toys, to food, and even body parts. It’s a tech revolution taking place in homes across the world.
But how does it work exactly, and what makes it so efficient? Mashable explains the basics of 3D printing technology.
In 3D printing, successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry, and are produced from a 3D model or other electronic data source. A 3D printer is a type of industrial robot.
Several 3D printing processes have been invented since the late 1970s. The printers were originally large, expensive, and highly limited in what they could produce.
As of October 2012, additive manufacturing systems were on the market that ranged from $2,000 to $500,000 in price and were employed in industries including aerospace, architecture, automotive, defense, and medical replacements, among many others.