3D printers : Gimmick or innovation?
A 3D printer cannot make any object on demand like the “Star Trek” replicators of science fiction. But a growing array of 3D printing machines has already begun to revolutionize the business of making things in the real world.
3D printers work by following a computer’s digital instructions to “print” an object using materials such as plastic, ceramics and metal. The printing process involves building up an object one layer at a time until it’s complete. For instance, some 3D printers squirt out a stream of heated, semi-liquid plastic that solidifies as the printer’s head moves around to create the outline of each layer within the object.
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