About 3D Printers
For many years, 3D printers had been the fantasy of only the most technically minded of people - but they are now available to everyone. Although the concept is far advanced from the regular 2D printer, the actual technology has a number of similarities. 3D printing works by taking a digital file of specifications and measurements, and then melting plastic or other similar materials to create a shape. The actual print 'head' is able to move in any direction, and this is how a 3D model takes its form on one of these printers.
3D printing is not only for producing simple models. It is technically possible to produce individual parts that can be used in any kind of mechanism - users can use this technology to assemble equipment and machinery. It may feel like a labour of love to some people, but the key factor is that this allows people to produce items to their own exact specifications. For example, if an item is potentially too heavy and large to be shipped, a designer can simply sell the data files for the user to create the model themselves.
In a similar manner to any other kind of printer, a 3D printer needs consumables in order to function. Instead of ink or toner, these machines use different types of plastic filaments that can be found in various colours. This introduces an interesting concept for those that are environmentally-minded, as it is possible to melt down discarded materials and reform it as consumables for 3D printers.