In 2011, a printer, which was charged with biogel, printed a human kidney right during a TED conference. Two years ago, Adidas announced a new sneaker that can be 3D printed in 20 minutes. And recently, Elon Musk's SpaceX company successfully tested spacecraft engines, which were also 3D printed.
In today's world, 3D printing is not an amazing technology of the future, but a well-studied reality including such a fascinating things as 3d full body scanner. It is used in architecture, construction, medicine, design, clothing and footwear production and other areas. At the request of a "3D printer", search engines give out hundreds of drawings and prototypes of varying complexity - from a soap dish and a table lamp to a car engine and even a residential building. See texel website for more details on full-body scaners.
Anyone can buy a printer and print a smartphone case, but not everyone goes beyond 3D printing from a drawing. In this article, we will tell you when 3D printing appeared, how the technology can be applied and what its prospects are.
Let's not bore you too much with dates and will briefly retell the history of 3D printing.
The harbinger of 3D printing. In the early 1980s, Dr. Hideo Kodama developed a rapid prototyping system using a photopolymer, an acrylic-based liquid substance. The printing technology was similar to the modern one: the printer printed the object according to the model, layer by layer.
First 3D printing. The manufacture of physical objects using digital data was demonstrated by Charles Hull. In 1984, when computers were still not very different from calculators, and before the release of Windows 95, he invented stereolithography - the forerunner of 3D printing. The technology worked like this: under the influence of an ultraviolet laser, the material solidified and turned into a plastic product. The form was printed on digital objects, and it became a boom among developers - it was now possible to create prototypes at a lower cost.
The first manufacturer of 3D printers. Two years later, Charles Hull patented the technology and opened a 3D Systems printer company. It launched the first industrial 3D printing machine and is still the market leader today. True, then the printer was called differently - an apparatus for stereolithography.
Popularity of 3D printing and new technologies. In the late 1980s, 3D Systems launched mass production of stereolithographic printers. But by that time, other printing technologies appeared: laser sintering and fused deposition modeling. In the first case, the powder was processed by the laser, not the liquid. And most modern 3D printers work by the fused method. The term "3D printing" came into use and the first home printers appeared.
A revolution in 3D printing. At the beginning of the 2000s, the market split into two directions: expensive complex systems and those that are available to everyone for printing at home. The technology began to be applied in specific areas: for the first time, a bladder was printed on a 3D printer, which was successfully implanted.