Why you should be excited (and wary) about 3D printing

3D printing is changing the world as we know it, and it's equal parts amazing and scary

If you’re an average tech consumer you’ve probably got a vague idea about what 3D printing entails.

The name pretty much gives it away: you take your boring normal printer, replace its ink with a liquid polymer that cools at room temperature, give it vertical mobility and bang - you’ve got the home sex-toy factory you’ve always dreamed about.

Okay, fine, it isn’t as simple as that, but now that 3D printing has left the laboratories and found its way into our homes, things are going to change whether you like it or not. Because 3D printers aren’t just the latest toys for rich showoffs; the technological principle behind them is changing how the world works and in particular, how we work too.

So read on and find out how this revolutionary manufacturing technique is shaping our future to come.

3D printing is an old-timer

3D printing is not new. It’s been around since the 1980’s under names like additive manufacturing and fused deposition modeling - primarily the forte of expensive and specialized industrial robots.

But in 2005, the RepRap project (which disappointingly isn’t some kind of right wing hip-hop duo) basically came around and said, “3D printers for everyone!”, developing an open source design for a self-replicating 3D printer that people could build at home.

Since then 3D printing has slowly edged its way into mainstream consumer use and while it’s still not ubiquitous in the mass-market, it’s never been more affordable, accessible or had more attention than in the present day.

READ MORE: Hands on with the 3Doodler, the world's first 3D printing pen – sketching in three dimensions is seriously fun

More after the break...

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