|A replica of the Eiffel Tower. Imagine what else you can create!|
The first time I heard about 3D Printing (also known by its fancy name, additive manufacturing) was just a few months ago. To me, the concept seemed so far-fetched and ahead of its time! But my mind was eventually able to grasp itself around the idea. It’s simple, really. You take a file containing data on your object, just as you would normally use a .jpeg or .doc file, and send that data over to the printer for printing. Only in this case, instead of liquid ink the machine uses a special kind of solid plastic. Once you hit print, the machine works its magic and creates your item layer by layer.
I was simply in awe seeing one of these neat gadgets in action at Xulera, the specialty store on the top level of SM Mega Fashion Hall that sells these machines and their “ink.” The only downsides I saw were the following:
1. Any one item can only have one color, since it relies on the thermoplastic raw material
2. The size of your creations is limited by the size of your printer. For larger items, you need to print it part by part and superglue it together
3. The machines seem to take a really long time to finish printing any one item. I wonder what would happen if power goes out or your kid brother trips on the cord?
But I guess all that could still change in a few years. It’s only a matter of time before more improvements follow.
We have certainly come a long way in technology. From printing ink unto paper, now we can create our own actual, physical items made from durable plastic. There was news recently about a Chinese firm building hundreds of houses in a few weeks; a Japanese man who created a functioning gun (he was arrested eventually); and those in the medical field trying to create new organs, all using this kind of technology. Isn’t that amazing? Prosthetics, body armor, a life-like mannequin of yourself – the extent of this technology’s capabilities seems as limitless as the imagination. Whatever else you can think of, be proud as I believe you and I have seen the future, and this is it.
Think you’re ready to incorporate 3D printing into your daily life? Well, I asked the shop and you can be the proud owner of one of these machines if you’re willing to part with P75,000.00.
|The shop with its very pricey machines on display.|
|The ice skating rink is just across their store. Maybe you can customize printing your own skates, eh?|
|THE INK. Spools with the thermoplastic filament used as the material of your creations.|
|They make it sound so easy!|
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