3D printing is one of the most popular technologies of the past few years, and its popularity has not yet shown any signs of slowing down. While we have not reached “Star Trek Replicator” status yet, the things that can be built using concepts of 3D printing are limitless – from human organs to buildings, 3D printing is opening doors for solutions that were unimaginable 5 years ago. Furthermore, with the increase in popularity, there has also been an increase in accessibility, and increase in community, and a decrease in cost. Truly, consumer 3D printing is in its infancy now, and it looks a lot like what 2D printing started out like, but it is well on its way to being as much of a household staple as a boring, 2D paper printer is today.
The RepRap Community maintains open source designs for 3D printing, as well as the software to drive the printers and create the prints. I built a Huxley model from a kit, a small, fun, Arduino-based printer than has provided me with hours of enjoyment. I am currently working on my next RepRap model, a much larger MendelMax, which I am printing using my Huxley.
I’ll cover how 3D prints can be generated, rendered, and converted into something a 3D printer can understand. We’ll also look at the Python-based software used to convert and print objects. Finally, we will explore the potential for consumers, for industry, and the environment.
I hope by the time you leave this session, you’ll not only want to acquire your own 3D printer, but will have some ideas of the things you’d like to make. We’ll have plenty of sample parts, and if the Huxley did not mind the travelling too much, you should also be able to see a printer in action.
Currently the database administrator at Jive Software, I have been having fun with DB Engines, SQL, ETL and BI for a little over ten years. Today I find myself amongst PostgreSQL and MySQL databases predominantly, though I am certified in SQL 2005, and do a fair amount of Oracle support. Some day I hope to understand and dislike all database engines equally.
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