Daniel Goh's Blog
Daniel Goh male Junior Writer
A video game junkie always looking for more convenient ways to do things tech wise. Some say its lazy, I say its innovative. Currently being sucked into the world of social media addiction and will never leave the house without his trusty iPod and headphones.
These days, 3D seems to be all the rage. From 3D cinemas to 3D TVs, we even see 3D making its way into notebooks and the higher-end smartphones. Sure, all you HardwareZone Malaysia techies out there are already familiar with said technologies, but have you heard about 3D printing?
Despite the name, the concept I am talking about is not printing an image on paper that will have the 3D effect when you don the proper accessories, but more of actually printing physical objects. Sounds like something you would find in a production plant, right? Wrong! A number of corporations are actually porting out these amazing machines, so that it will be suitable for home use.
The concept of a 3D printing is simple. First, you need a 3D image stored on a computer. You can either do this by scanning objects using a 3D scanner (which is a whole other post altogether), or design your own using the software that comes bundled with these printers. Next comes the printing process. Instead of boring you to tears with technical terms, the main concept of this process involves using molten materials to form a structure layer by layer.
For those with a creative mind, this machine brings endless possibilities, from creating unique one-of-a-kind decorative sculptures, to molding gifts for friends. If you can imagine it, you can make it (within its limitations, of course). But for those who aren’t as gifted, this device has more practical uses. Imagine needing a custom but simple part to fix stuff you’ll find around your house, or even creating simple stands or molds to hold your gadgets – the possibilities are endless.
Unfortunately, the 3D printers of today are still not very affordable, and chances are with such a niche market, the printing materials will be harder to come by. With that being said, if the laserjet and inkjet printers of old are any indication, I am sure these cool gadgets will be an affordable addition to any home in the near future. But for now, these machines might not be that practical after all, as they are still incredibly slow. How slow? Well, the fact that you need timelapse videos to show an example of 3D printing says it all.
As of today, the 3D printing market is still relatively small but in the U.S., there are companies that are already manufacturing and selling printers like MakerBot Industries Thing-O-Matic, Ultimaker, Shapercube, Mosaic, Prusa and Huxley 3D printers. Here’s a promotional video from MakerBot, so you can have a better idea of what I mean.
Anyway, I think that this newfangled printing method has amazing potential and is definitely worth sharing. If you have anything to add, or know of other fantastic uses for these kinds of printers, be sure to leave a comment down below or even better, start a thread on our forums here!