Dubbed the next industrial revolution by some, the rise of the 3D printer may change the world. Combined with other robot technologies the need for common industrial jobs such as welding may soon disappear. In recent years 3D printers have evolved from highly expensive commercial tools to become more and more readily available to the home user. In this article we will touch on 2 of the craziest applications of 3D printers so far.
So what is a 3D printer?
A 3D printer is a device which creates objects by joining materials using a computer to form 3D objects. The materials can vary greatly from liquid plastic to food ingredients. Normally, a 3D printer will build an object using layers. An object is built up piece by piece from scratch and this opens the door to almost any design or shape! In contrast to 3D printers one of the other common processes is subtractive manufacturing where a solid block has pieces removed from it. However, subtractive manufacturing has many limitations on the type of designs possible.
One great demonstration of the versatility of a 3D printer are food printers. Imagine a restaurant of the future, fully controlled by robots who don’t need to cook food – just click a button on a printer. One of the more advanced food 3D printers, The Foodini, is even able to handle fresh produce when it’s ‘cooking’. It is able to cook food such as pizzas, burgers and spaghetti!
So where’s my house?
How big is a printer? Are you picturing the microwave sized 2D printer in your home? Some 3D printers are so large the can put together a house! The first 3D printed house was made in as early December 2016 and there now many companies specialising in house printing. Russian company Apis Cor and developer PIK worked together to build a 38 metre squared home. It took only 24 hours and cost only $10k!
Have you ever used a 3D printer before? Let us know in the comments!
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