3D Printing is defined as a process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. The idea of 3D printing literally began to take shape in the mid 1980’s. Charles W. Hull of 3D Systems Corp. created the first 3D printer in 1984 and patented the term “stereolithography,” the system used for generating three-dimensional objects by creating a cross-sectional pattern of the object to be formed.
One way 3D printing differs from other manufacturing processes is through its additive manufacturing process that creates objects by repetitively adding layers of a particular material. Typically subtractive manufacturing is used, in machining especially where materials are filed, milled or drilled to create needed parts or pieces. Although some manufacturing processes have been additive for many years, 3D printing was the first to contain an information technology component that is crucial to the product development.
Holmes began as a printing company and has both seen and worked through many changes in print technology. We have talked about the possibilities of 3D printing as it has become more and more mainstream, and with each new piece of information we assess any 3D printing benefits we could bring to our customers. Though it’s not quite time for us to travel down the 3D path, we are always intrigued when we read or hear about the amazing ways this printing process is being used in the world today.
Here are some of our favorite stories about 3D printing applications! Post any that you’ve seen in the comments section!
3 Ways 3D Printing Could Revolutionize Healthcare http://www.forbes.com/sites/xerox/2013/08/22/3-ways-3-d-printing-could-revolutionize-healthcare/
3D Printed Robotic Arm: Colorado Teen Designs $500 Prosthetic Controlled By Bluetooth Headband http://www.ibtimes.com/3d-printed-robotic-arm-colorado-teen-designs-500-prosthetic-controlled-bluetooth-headband-1387677
Bald Eagle Gets a 3D Printed Facelift http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/1621-bald-eagle-gets-a-3d-printed-facelift-video.html
NASA Successfully Tests 3D Printed Rocket Components http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57600325-76/nasa-successfully-tests-3d-printed-rocket-components/
Coca-Cola Shows Off the Untapped Potential for 3D Printing in Advertising http://venturebeat.com/2013/08/20/coca-cola-3d-printing/