As part of my INF103 class, we were assigned to research about several new technologies and give insights on them. The group I was in chose 3D Printing.

What is 3D Printing? 

Black 3D Printed Roses

Image: “Black 3D Printed Roses” by Adafruit Industries. License C.C.

  • 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to processes used to create a three-dimensional object in which successive layers of material are formed under the control of a computer to create an object.
  • The action or process of making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically consists of depositing many thin layers of a material in succession.
  • A 3D printer is a machine whose function is to generate a solid three-dimensional object by adding the raw material. The traditionally known production methods are subtractive, that is, they generate forms from the removal of excess material. 3D printers are based on 3D models to define what to print. A model is the digital image of the object to be printed that is designed in a software or other platform.

As part of my INF103 class, two of my classmates and I have the opportunity to explore the world of 3D Printing technology.

Where does it start?

Its history begins for the first time in the year 1976, where the first ink jet printer is invented. For 1984, adaptations and advances in the concept of inkjet transformed the technology of printing with ink to printing with materials. In the following decades, a variety of applications of 3D printing technology have been developed in various industries.

Charles Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems, invents Stereolithography, a printing process that allows a 3D Object to be created from digital data. Technology is used to create a 3D model from an image and allows users to test a design before investing in a larger manufacturer program.

3D Printing History Timeline:

1992: The first 3D printing machine of the type SLA was developed by 3D Systems. This machine consisted of a UV laser that would solidifying a polymer photo (viscous liquid) which made the object layer by layer.

1999: The first organ created in 3D printing is implanted in a human (urinary bladder). This was created using the cells of the organism.

2002: Scientists designed a miniature version of a fully functional kidney that filtered blood.

2005: Adrian Bowyer founded RepRap, an initiative for the purpose of building a 3D printer that could print most of its own components.

2006: The first SLS (Selective Laser Synthesizer) machine is created, which fuses materials in the printing process, and creates a machine that manages to produce in masses.

2008: RepRap launches Darwin, a machine with the ability to print most of its own components giving the creators ability to repair old objects and make more impressions. A company, Shapeways, launches a website where artists can create a small 3D rendering of their creations. Finally, this year also gives the first person to walk with a prosthesis as a leg.

2009: DIY became famous even in 3D printing since in this year, kits were launched where people could make prints in their own homes. Also, the first bio-printer that manages to print the first blood vessel arrives.

2011: Prints in 7 days and flies; the first plane created in 3D. Urbee is also born, the first car created entirely in 3D with the expectation of helping the environment and the pocket of your buyer. Finally, a company manages to print 14-karat gold and silver to expand the fine jewelry market.

2012: The company of LayerWise, formed by a group of Dutch, create the first jaw prosthesis printed in 3D, designed to encourage the growth of new bone tissue.


How Does it Work?

3D Printing in space

Image: “3D Printing in space” by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. License C.C.

  1. A laser source sends a laser to solidify the material.
  2. The elevator raises and lowers the platform to help set the layers.
  3. The tub contains the material used to create the 3D object.
  4. Advanced 3D printers use one or more materials, including plastic, resin, titanium, polymers and even gold and silver.
  5. The 3D object creates parts that overlap each other.



Here you will find, a list of mostly free apps that concern 3D Printing.

  • (Blog) The History of 3D Printing: 3D Printing Technologies from the 80s to Today:
  • (Webpage) What is 3D Printing?:
  • (twitter) 3D Printing Industry:
  • (twitter) 3D Hubs:
  • (twitter) MarkerBot:
  • (twitter) Urbalink Fab Studio:
  • (twitter) dtrex:
  • (blog) Mundo 3D Pro:
  • (Webpage) Qué es una impresora 3D?:
  • (blog) Impresoras 3D:
  • (blog) Techno-Crazian – All the latest developments in technology for all the tech-freaks out there:
  • (blog) Eddititve Blog – a 3D printing journey:
  • (Webpage) Thingiverse:
  • (twitter) Sitodine99:
  • (Webpage) 3D Printing: What a 3D Printer Is and How It Works:
  • (Blog) i.materialise:
  • (Webpage) 3D Printing Industry:
  • (twitter) Smart Materials 3D:
  • (twitter) Joel Telling:
  • (twitter) Gnomo:
  • (twitter) Paul da Silva:


Video: What Is 3D Printing and How Does It Work? | Mashable Explains:

Video: 3D Printing Nerd – Channel Trailer

Video: How does 3D Printing work? – Ultimaker: 3D Printing



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