3D printers are the new technological trends. We discuss how they work and the most interesting projects.

One of the most emerging technologies in recent years is that of 3D printing . Sure many heard of these printers ever, and they seem to make “magic” to create objects from nothing. Well, this is an explanation, but we go step by step:

What is a 3D printer?

These machines are responsible for turning in a real object 3D designs that a person can do with the help of the computer. To achieve this use liquid plastic (or other material) instead of ink to which we are accustomed, after printing it solidifies and creates the object. They are usually large machines that can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the technological advancement is becoming available to the general public . Come on, it’s like having a factory at home!.

How do they work?

There are several ways to do this, but the most common is to separate the 3D model in very thin layers that are printed at one top of the other, and then to join them have a 3D object. For a better understanding, consider one of the most used processes, stereo lithography: the printer creates a thin layer of resin and “draw” a small flat section of the object with a laser beam. That laser solidifies the pattern traced, and paste to the next resin layer, and so the process is repeated layer by layer. At the end of all that emerges resin designed the 3D object.


This is not the only method and can use other materials such as dust, or metal, or even plastic material that solidifies liquid out of the printer, but the concept of layers is always applied. These objects are typically measured in centimeters (may not be very large) but some printers reach several meters. It is also a slow process that requires patience: for an object of 100 grams rather complex may take several hours. Finally, mention that the materials used are not cheap.

Its main uses

They are widely used for rapid prototyping of industrial products such as auto parts or medical prostheses . It is also common in architecture. What is new is that when the popularized several current projects, one could put their own internet designed object and the user have a real copy with the press of a button. Or to even use them to create objects that are used in day to day or replicate .

Domestic examples would create your own ornaments and then paint them, figures of your favorite character. There are too many uses, so collect the most interesting in this note (played examples as diverse as manufacture guns or food). Sn but are not limited to simple a objectors, you can create very complex things if you print the parts separately. If you already have a printer, recommend the website Thingiverse, where the community share their best creations designs you can download and print.

3D scanning: the perfect companion

Are not you good at design? Well, there are 3D scanners, with which you can transform an existing object in a 3D model and have it ready to print. This combination of scanner and printer enables you to replicate a real object very easily.

Interesting projects:

There are already some 3D printers available for home use, but costly. The best known is the Maker Bot Replicator , which uses plastic filaments can be seen as pleasantly as Figure (2200 U.S. $). However, in the future you can have one of these printers for less: For example Rigid Bot 3D printer , would take this technology to the average user only 750 U.S. $ (even for half the price you can buy a kit and assemble it yourself).