What exactly is 3D printing?

Wondering what 3D printing is? Take a look here and what it means to tradies and the construction industry.

What is 3D printing anyway?

3D printing is the process of making things, three dimensional things that you can hold,feel,fire,sit on or even live in.  It works by taking a digital plan or set of instructions for the object you want to create, splits it into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers and creates it line by line using different materials and technologies depending on what you are printing. Sounds simple right? :S

Take a look here

How is it different from my (2D) printer at home?

The name sounds the same but they are very different. 2D or traditional printers take photos or words (information) and print them on paper using ink. 3D printers are used to make things or stuff using all kinds of methods. They don’t look the same or work the same so yeah, very different.

What can it be used for?

Lots of things.  Just about anything which is scary to think. Guitars ,cars, phones can all be made, destroyed and made again to your hearts content.

So whats it all got to do with me?

Well it could mean big changes to the construction industry. For the last ten years engineers have been testing 3D printers for building structural components and even entire homes. The printing is done with “super-size printers” which use a special concrete and composite mixture.

When will be see this in action?

Depends who you listen to. Some estimates believe in the next 1-2 years, others not until the end of the decade.

 What are the benefits?

Some of the cool benefits could be building inexpensive homes for the millions of people without homes, or replacing of the labor heavy or mundane tasks that need to be done on building sites across the world.

Personally, we dont expect to see this anytime soon, but changes are definitely coming. What do you make of it all? Leave your comments below!