TriCom Technical Services

3D Printing – The Wave of the Future

In 3D, 3D printing, electronics, Filton, MakerBot, performance, powder, printer, printing, technology, Z Corporation on August 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Lately more and more viral videos have appeared displaying the incredible abilities of 3D printers.

In the early stages, these printers awed us by making 3D models of anything and everything our minds could imagine, so long as they were stationary objects.

Often times these printers utilize a liquid gel substance to “print” a digitally designed model in 3D. For example, the MakerBot creates prototypes from any design, be it designed in house or downloaded from the internet.

Other machines can print life-size models and prototypes that actually function. Using a powder substance, 3D printer experts like FILTON and Z Corporation design and replicate life-size, working prototypes that can be used just as if they were the real thing.

Here you can see development engineers at FILTON using lasers to melt powder into a nylon plastic to build any solid object imaginable – in this case a life-size, functioning bicycle. As you can see, the model doesn’t come out cleanly, it has to be brushed free from the surrounding loose powder.

You may have noticed the objects printed at Filton came out in the same color – an alabaster white. Z Corporation in Burlington, MA has come up with a way to conduct the same printing methods with color, and we’re not talking just 1 color. In this video, a crescent wrench is scanned, color customized, replicated, and is usable as a real working wrench.

We are as close as we’ll ever be to being able to think of something and create it out of (almost) thin air. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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