What Surprises Does 3-D Printing Have In Store?

I’d heard about it. Soft whispers in the corner, not so soft non-whispers from company representatives. But until today I’d never had the chance to see 3-D printing in action, and I have to tell you…

It’s pretty darn cool.

Welcome to 3-D Printing

What is 3-D printing? 3-D printing is the process of using printers-yes, actual printers-to create three dimensional objects. It can be used to create a small scale model of something larger. It can be used to just plain create. Cornell University is even working on a printer that will allow you to digitally re-create food at home. (As visions of digitally remastered sugarplums dance in my head…)

Whatever you decide to do with it, you have to admit that the process of building something in 3-D from something that specializes in 2-D is enough to make even the toughest cynic or digital media lover sit up and take notice.

How It Works

3-D printing is done using a digital printer to create an object by printing layer upon layer, sort of like building a tower out of crackers. Only in this case the layers are very small sheets of material delivered very precisely by the printer. (I don’t know about you, but when I build a cracker tower there’s nothing precise about it.)

I know the whole thing’s a little hard to fathom, so I’m going to stop talking and turn it over to the video below to tell you about the awesome things today’s companies are doing with 3-D printing.