Welcome to the exciting world of 3D printing!
3D Printing Day
3 December annually

3D Printing Day3D Printing Day

 Photo © 3D Print Works

3D Printing Day takes place on 3 December, but have you heard of the new and exciting world of 3D printing yet?  Through the process of additive manufacturing, 3D objects are produced from a digital file.  The first 3D printer was invented by Chuck Hull in 1984, however, the concept did not become more feasible until the 21st technology when the field became more affordable for the general market. 

Now, the possibilities are endless!  Although there are several, the main 3D printer manufacturer at the moment is Makerbot.  These printers will produce most regular 3D printed objects, but have you heard of 3D printing food?!  Although this one may be out of the reach of the average person for some years to come, it is being used predominantly by NASA and the army, to provide essential nutrients for when they are on their respective missions.

So what has 3D printing produced so far?  In the medical industry hands and even jaws have been printed, a 3D frog has been replacing the original manner of teaching dissection within the education realm and in architecture, buildings are being studied by printing 3D replicas of the original.  Aside from this?  So many other things, like selfies and toys, are being 3D printed just for fun!      

And Thingiverse is the open source website that is making 3D printing possible for so many people. Here, people share their STL files, which people can then use to create their own prints outs. At this stage the field is so experimental that people can easily and happily improve upon another person’s invention – there is a real sense of working to collaborating to improve something that is still in its infancy and open to positive development.

How can you get involved in 3D print day?  If you are already involved with and familiar with 3D printing, why not design something brand new and share it with the Thingiverse world?  Or you could 3D print any object of your choice and spend the day thinking of quirky ways to introduce it to those close to you.  Our team member Avril often has her 3D printed selfie by her side – it certainly makes for some interesting conversations!

If you have never delved into the world of 3D printing before don’t worry.  You can use 3D Hubs to find a 3D printing company close to you – you just tell them what you want and they will print it for you.  3DPrintworks, for example, has had a range of requests from a 3D printed heart, to a quill for The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen.

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