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- ISBN: 9781118350638 | 1118350634
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 2/11/2013
Until now, 3D printing has been stuff of research labs and DIY geek fairs, but it's ready for its debut the mainstream. 3D printers, combined with low-cost, user-friendly computer-aided design software and vibrant online communities and marketplaces, enable regular people to turn their ideas into real objects. Toy makers design historically accurate model trains from old photographs and print identical miniatures. Teachers and students bring book learning to life by sharing design files and 3D printing historical relics and models of human organs. Companies print prototypes of product ideas. And one doesn't have to own a printer to enjoy the fun. Similar to commercial print shops, a growing number of online 3D print services make the technology available to everyone. Consumers design (or select) their desired object, upload the file to the printer's web site, and the 3D print service fabricates in a wide range of materials, ranging from hard plastics, to silver, to spongy foam, to food. Written by the people bringing 3D printing to the masses, this book starts at the beginning, describing the market and machines. It then goes on to describe the software, the design and prototyping options, and how to integrate it all into your surroundings, be it at home, work, or school. It ends by discussing the future of this truly groundbreaking new industry. The book includes: Part I: the technology how they work, industrial and hobbyist models, software Part II: the businesses the marketplace, companies that sell services and host storefronts, design and prototyping companies Part III: how to integrate and use 3D printing - to invent, design, teach, or eat Part IV: the future - the power of combining previously incompatible materials, intellectual property and consumer safety This is the first thorough introduction to this brave new world, brought to you by the people who are making it happen.