What is 3D Printing?

So just what is this 3D printing thingy and how is it done? Well, it’s actually very similar to how we print ordinary documents but with a thicker medium than ink. Without getting too technical, you can also imagine laying down a line of bricks and then putting another layer on top of that… eventually building the shape you want. 3D printing can use different materials to produce everything from hard plastic for building use, to metals used in jewellery and mechanical parts – just about anything almost; even objects in candy can be made!

And I’m not the only one to predict that in the near future household 3D printers will be as common as kitchen appliances – you will be able to turn on your iPrinter, download “plans” for items from plates, vases, utensils, sporting/camping goods, toys (childrens’ and adult toys!), car parts, office accessories, decorative items… the list is endless… and print away to your heart’s content.

Below is a 3 minute video showing the process from design to print.

Edit 17th Sep 2010: …but even better than that is an article by the New York Times and a fun 4 minute video. Both can be accessed from my page here: 3D Printing Explained


2 responses to “What is 3D Printing?

  1. sage

    August 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I am an old cowboy and I had a dream about 3-d printing years ago and told people and they scoffed at me. I am also an artist and am jealous that you are doing something that I wish that I could. I love your stuff!

    • lensman

      August 29, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks, Sage. I’m an artist also. Originally a professional photographer then would-be painter. Switched to digital many years ago and then found all my interests combined with 3D digital art. A few more years on and bingo! – now I can actually hold in my hand the designs I create on screen…


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