Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Printers' That Can Make 3-D Solid Objects Soon To Enter Mainstream

Date:
September 26, 2007
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
It is a simple matter to print an E-book or other document directly from your computer, whether that document is on your hard drive, at a web site or in an email. But, imagine being able to "print" solid objects, a piece of sports equipment, say, or a kitchen utensil, or even a prototype car design for wind tunnel tests. Researchers suggest such 3-D printer technology will soon enter the mainstream once a killer application emerges.

It is a simple matter to print an E-book or other document directly from your computer, whether that document is on your hard drive, at a web site or in an email. But, imagine being able to 'print' solid objects, a piece of sports equipment, say, or a kitchen utensil, or even a prototype car design for wind tunnel tests. US researchers suggest such 3-D printer technology will soon enter the mainstream once a killer application emerges.

Related Articles


Such technology already exists and is maturing rapidly so that high-tech designers and others can share solid designs almost as quickly as sending a fax. The systems available are based on bath of liquid plastic which is solidified by laser light. The movements of the laser are controlled by a computer that reads a digitized 3D map of the solid object or design.

Writing in the Inderscience publication International Journal of Technology Marketing, US researchers discuss how this technology might eventually move into the mainstream allowing work environments to 3-D print equipment, whether that is plastic paperclips, teacups, or components that can be joined to make sophisticated devices, perhaps bolted together with printed nuts and bolts.

Physicist Phil Anderson of the School of Theoretical and Applied Science working with Cherie Ann Sherman of the Anisfield School of Business, both at Ramapo College of New Jersey, in Mahwah, New Jersey, explain how this technology, which is known formally as 'rapid prototyping' could revolutionize the way people buy goods.

It will allow them to buy or obtain a digital file representing a physical product electronically and then produce the object at a time and place convenient to them. The technology will be revolutionary in the same way that music downloads have shaken up the music industry. "This technology has the potential to generate a variety of new business models, which would enhance the average consumer's lifestyle," say the paper's authors.

The team discusses the current advanced applications of rapid prototyping which exist in the military where missing and damaged components can be produced at the site of action. Education too can make use of 3-D printing to allow students to make solid their experimental designs.

Also, product developers can share tangible prototypes by transferring the digitized design without the delay of shipping a solid object between sites, which may be separated by thousands of miles. The possibilities for consumer goods, individualized custom products, replacement components, and quick fixes for broken objects, are almost unlimited, the authors suggest.

From the business perspective, e-commerce sites will essentially become digital download sites with physical stores, retail employees, and shipping eliminated. It is only a matter of time before the 'killer application,' the 3-D equivalent of the mp3 music file, one might say, arrives to make owning a 3-D printer as necessary to the modern lifestyle as owning a microwave oven, a TV, or indeed a personal computer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "'Printers' That Can Make 3-D Solid Objects Soon To Enter Mainstream." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925081418.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2007, September 26). 'Printers' That Can Make 3-D Solid Objects Soon To Enter Mainstream. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925081418.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "'Printers' That Can Make 3-D Solid Objects Soon To Enter Mainstream." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925081418.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Apps to Organize Your Life

The Best Apps to Organize Your Life

Buzz60 (Oct. 23, 2014) — Need help organizing your bills, schedules and other things? Ko Im (@konakafe) has the best apps to help you stay on top of it all! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nike And Apple Team Up To Create Wearable ... Something

Nike And Apple Team Up To Create Wearable ... Something

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — For those looking for wearable tech that's significantly less nerdy than Google Glass, Nike CEO Mark Parker says don't worry, It's on the way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins