3D printing: the shape of things to come

Helen Lewis / 02 January 2014

Put aside your old concept of ‘printing’ – your home PC can now deliver 3D objects before your very eyes, as in this video of 3D printing in action.

Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker is surprisingly light – but then again, the version I’m holding in my hand is only three inches tall. And it’s not made of stone. In fact, it was made in front of me on a 3D ‘printer’ at the Science Museum in London. First, not ink but a thin coil of plastic wire was fed into a £2,000 Ultimaker machine, then heated to 210C. Once molten, it was squeezed out of a fine nozzle in flat layers just 0.6mm thick, gradually creating a version of the famous sculpture. Printing the three-inch model, layer by layer by layer, took two hours at ‘high resolution’, although you could go faster on an industrial machine, or if you were prepared to accept a lower-quality figurine.

Read the rest of this article in the January 2014 issue of Saga Magazine. If you'd like to read the article on your desktop or tablet computer, click here to buy and download the issue.


The 3D Print Show - www.sciencemuseum.org.uk


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