5 Interesting Facts About 3D Printing That You Should Know
2022 Dec 19th
Additive manufacturing, more popularly known as 3D printing, has been around in some form since the mid-1980s. While you’re probably aware of 3D printing as a technique for creative product prototypes or even architectural models, you may not be familiar with these five interesting facts about 3D printing that you should know. Learn more about 3D printing and what it can do!
3D Printing Can Make Complete, Functional Products
Automakers use 3D-printed parts in new cars, but 3D printing can make complete, functional products. Makers have created working lamps, tools, fidget toys, and even entire houses. People can share their designs and allow users to modify their models on sites such as Thingiverse.
3D Printing Can Be Done In Zero Gravity
In 2014, a company called Made in Space (MIS) partnered with NASA to make the first 3D-printed object in space. Since then, 3D printing models have been uploaded for use in space, and a 3D printer called the Additive Manufacturing Facility has been added to the International Space Station.
3D Printing Materials Go Beyond Plastic
One interesting fact about 3D printing that you should know is that 3D-printed objects can be made out of many different materials, not just plastic. While most hobbyists using 3D printers buy PLA filament(polylactic acid filament, a plant-based material), new and specialized industrial 3D printers can use metals like titanium, steel, copper, and aluminum. Huge 3D printers can now print complete houses out of concrete, and specialized ones can print using human tissue.
3D Printing Enhances Filmmaking
Some of your favorite recent films have used 3D printing to create props and costume pieces. 3D-printed costume pieces and props have appeared in Black Panther, the Ironman films, The Hobbit, and even the Star Wars films for stormtrooper costumes. Animated films also use 3D printing to create “sets” and alternate universe spaces.
Beyond costumes, fashion designers are now using 3D printing to create elaborate decorative elements for garments and accessories. You may already own a pair of 3D-printed sunglasses, hair clips, or jewelry.
3D Printing Enhances Medical Care
Medical students learn about human organs using realistic 3D-printed models. Surgeons practice complex operations on 3D-printed simulated body parts. And bio-compatible plastics can be 3D printed to create prosthetics and dental apparatuses.
The possibilities for 3D printing are growing, and scientists will continue to experiment with advanced materials for use with 3D printers.