Fred Hagemeister, University of Richmond, discusses 3D Printing at the ACS Instructional Technologists Meeting at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.
“3-D printing”—the popular name for “additive manufacturing”—has been identified as one of the coming cluster of “disruptive” technologies. Expectations are that it will be a way—not the only way—to make all sorts of stuff. Food. Toothbrushes. Shoes. Art. Building materials. Car dashboards. Moon habitats. Transplantable human organs and living tissue for medical research.
With this technique, objects are built up in layers—sometimes only microns thick—in three dimensions. In the past couple of years, boosted by the unique nexus of the Internet, a culture of collaboration and open-source approaches, and breathtaking advances in software and computing power, 3-D printing is starting to hit the mainstream. And it is sparking innovation through advances in computer-aided design (CAD) software, and the Internet as it connects researchers, tinkerers, and entrepreneurs.