Sunday, October 30, 2011

Great Article on Direct Digital Manufacturing: A Technology Whose Time Has Come

This is a very interesting article on 3D printing by John Kirkley, editor of Digital Manufacturing Report titled: 

Direct Digital Manufacturing: A Technology Whose Time Has Come

"3D printing, a technology that has been in use for several decades, is part of a broader movement known as direct digital manufacturing (DDM) that could forever change the way we make things.

We're not quite at the stage envisioned by Star Trek: The Next Generation where a replicator on board the star ship can create any kind of inanimate matter, including food (but not, of course, antimatter, dilithium or latinum). But we're getting closer."

 I don't care what industry you come from or background you have, 3D printing is just flat out super cool.  For example, check the world's first 3D printed car - the Urbee automobile:

"For example, consider the Urbee automobile which was featured in a recent Digital Manufacturing Report posting. This cute little car, a two-seater, hybrid electric/ethanol vehicle capable of 200 mpg on the highway, is the first automobile to have its entire body printed using Statasys FDM technology and a tough plastic known as ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Traditional manufacturing methods, which involve making molds and shaping the parts out of fiberglass, would have been a laborious and expensive process stretching out over eight to 10 months. With FDM, several major body panels for the first prototype were built in weeks. Other parts were produced in days."

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