Is 3D printing the printing technology of the future?

April 13, 2014 · Print This Article

Everyone has been talking for months now about 3D printers. A popular 3D printing myth that exists in Kempton Park is that you can simply produce products from the comfort of your own homes cost-effectively and that you won’t need to buy these products from the stores anymore. Many consumers are concerned about the fact that piracy will be on the increase now because consumers are not only already pirating digital products, but that in the future it will also be easier than ever to pirate consumer goods.

How can you use a 3D printer for personal gain?

First things first, 3D printers are not cheap, with basic models such as the Finial H-Series, costing up to £ 1,200 excluding VAT. Other popular models include the Ultimaker, the RepRap Project and the MakerBot Replicator.

Now for the technical complication – starting up a 3D printer is not easy. In the case of the Finial H-Series, installing the drivers of the 3D printer onto the existing Windows systems may involve rebooting and manually directing Windows towards the necessary printer driver files. You will also need to make use of some level of expertise when it comes to the assembling and calibration of the printer.

Next, comes the safety aspect. While in its process, the 3D printer can heat up to about 260° C, which can cause third-degree burns. Consumers are advised to wear heatproof gloves as well as goggles during the operation.

Now, to come to the actual printing process – consumers need to understand that currently the print technology can only produce plastic. Thus, there is no way to produce rubber, metal and other materials, other than plastic.

The 3D printer needs full digital 3D models to operate. So, if you are looking to produce an original item, you will need to have the expertise to work with a CAD package so you can design it yourself. 3D printing is a lot more complicated than you think and it will take a lot of extra effort and time to be able to fully make use of all the benefits of these types of printers.

3D printing is also highly close and time-consuming. For example, the production of a Lego brick that requires more than 70 layers or plastic takes about 25 minutes. Imagine how long it would take to produce an entire box of Lego bricks!

Finally, like regular printers, 3D printers get clogged or stuck too! You will need to have certain expertise to deal with unclogging the 3D printer.

With so many myths out there, it can sometimes be hard to make the right decision when it comes to your 3D printing needs. Contact Minuteman Press in Kempton Park for all your myth buster 3D printing related queries so that we can provide you with all the answers that you need to bust any myth out there!

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