What Is 3D Printing Anyway?

If you notice tech news at all, you will likely have heard of something called 3D printing, or of 3D printers. They are often hailed as the next big thing, a revolution waiting to happen, and so on. It is actually a pretty straightforward idea - a "printer" that can print not only length and width, but also height; the three dimensions of a solid object. It does not use ink, of course, but can use various special materials to print (or fabricate) items of varying size and complexity one thin layer at a time. The printer output could be a prototype of some new tool or device, or a sculpture, almost anything that does not contain complex moving parts, although you could fabricate the individual parts separately and assemble them. As with most revolutionary technologies, the possibilities are amazing - imagine printing replacement body parts, for example. TechGoesStrong has a three part series on 3D printing "Everything About How 3D Printing Works", the articles are linked below:

A 3D printer in action using time lapse photography (and some rather annoying music - at least to my old ears)

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