Why you might want this tool in your workshop
The MakerBot Replicator2 printing out a
radial engine. The Replicator 2 can print with
a resolution of roughly 100 microns. Photo
courtesy of MakerBot Industries.
The 3-D printer is the newest tool in the workshop. The first time watching a 3-D object being printed can be awe inspiring. For me, 3-D printing brings forth
memories of the “Star Trek” episodes where the computer is
asked to replicate an object and a few seconds later, the object
materializes. It is hard to not be excited when you realize we
are not far off from the reality of that scenario.
Of course there are a few more steps in the process and
we have not yet made the leap to cellular replication, but
the ability to design an object and then have that object
materialize is no longer science fiction. If you do not have a
3-D printer in your workshop today, it may not be long before
3-D printing is also known as additive manufacturing.
Other tools in the shop such as mills, drills, laser cutters,
CNC machines, and similar tools remove material
to create a finished object. A 3-D printer
combines layers of material to create an
Plastics, powders, wood
particles, foods, and metals
are all possible print
on your budget and
the 3-D printing
you are using.
While hobby-grade 3-D
printers can be
purchased as kits
for less than $300,
high-end printers can jump to a six- or seven-figure range.
Similar to 2-D paper printers, the price range offers a large
variance in features and quality.
As with standard paper printing, you start with a digital file
on a computer then send it to the printer and within a period
of time you have a printout. In the case of 3-D printing, the
printout is a three-dimensional, physical object instead of an
image on a piece of paper.
by Paul Gentile
55 Model Aviation OC TOBER 2013 www.ModelAviation.com