iStock_000012767009XSmallOne of the hot topics in the technology world is 3D Printing. While this isn’t a service that Davik Consulting provides, it is something that is catching attention in the media today and one of our blogging goals is to provide information that is relevent to current technology events.  Thus, 3D printing!

Currently, there is a plethora of different types of 3D printing technologies, but they do all share one common core thing, and that is they create a three dimensional object layer by layer until the object is complete.

Each 3D object that is printed starts with a digital Computer Aided Design file, created with a 3D modeling program, or which was scanned into a 3D modeling program with a 3D scanner. In order to get from this digital file into instructions that the 3D printer will understand, the software will slice the design into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers.

The 3D printer then reads this file and then proceeds to create each layer exactly to the specification needed. As the layers are being created, they begin to blend together with no hint of the layering visible, resulting in one three dimensional object.

There are currently Commercial 3D printers, which have actually been around for decades, but only recently has the technology become efficient. And even though these Commercial 3D printers cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, companies are saving many times that amount in the prototyping process.

There are also Personal 3D printers and DIY hobbyist models. And, if you don’t have your own 3D printer, there are 3D printing service bureaus that can inexpensively print and deliver an object from a digital file that you simply upload to the bureau’s user friendly website.

So, you may ask, what are people with 3D printers actually printing? Some print jewelry, replacement parts for appliances like their dishwasher, while some people invent original things, create art, and even make toys for their children. Since there are many types of metal, plastic, glass, and other materials available, including gold and silver, the sky is the limit as to what can be printed.

So much so, in fact, that 3D printing will definitely change the world and effect almost every aspect of industry and our personal lives. Medicine will change as new bioprinters will actually be able to print human tissue for pharmaceutical testing and eventually entire organs and bones. Architecture and construction are changing dramatically now, and art is already forever changed.

The world of technology continues to change on a daily basis. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your technology questions.  We will always do our very best to get you the right answers.