Although 3D printers have been around for a few decades, they are not quite commonplace. When will this technology become more accessible? Some say 2012 is the year and that the manufacturing industry, specifically, cannot ignore this revolution. Lisa Harouni, co-founder of Digital Forming says that “with 3D printing, we can actually create structures that are more intricate than any other manufacturing technology — or, in fact, are impossible to build in any other way.” See her full video on 3D Printing here.
Most current 3D printing applications are not being used to manufacture consumer end products, but most expect that to be the future for this industry. As of now, 3D printing “enables engineers to check the fit of different parts long before they commit to costly production, architects to show detailed and relatively low-cost scale models to their clients, and medical professionals or archaeologists to handle full-size, 3D copies of bones printed from 3D scan data. There are also a wide range of educational uses.” says Christopher Barnatt on his blog “Explaining the Future”. See his detailed explanation of 3D printing here.
For the A/E/C industry, offering fast, affordable 3D printing is one of our specialties. At Thomas Reprographics you can get fast, low-cost 3D printed models directly from your 3D CAD files. From the very first concept development meeting, you can visualize and communicate in 3D. Use physical models to explore concepts and communicate your vision to your clients, without the time and price constraints of hand-made models. It also helps identify form, fit, function, and error of a product. 3D models help clients thoroughly review a product before production begins, saving time and money.
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