You don’t have to attend a technology convention to observe a 3D printer in action. If you want to know more about this type of additive manufacturing equipment, there are several easily accessible places where you’re likely to find it. Here are four places where you’ll have the best chances to check out some of the latest innovations in 3D printing.
You may be able to catch a 3D printer in action at your child’s school, where kids are increasingly offered the opportunity to design models and print them right in the classroom. In high schools, students may be assigned projects in which they can produce small models to help them to grasp difficult mathematic concepts. College and university campuses are also welcoming 3D printers into the academic landscape. Undergraduates might use additive manufacturing equipment to create prototype parts and assemblies for industrial design, architecture, and engineering courses. Graduate students may produce parts to use in research activities, or even for use in production environments. The educational opportunities associated with 3D printing are vast, and an increasing number of schools are taking advantage of them.
The “maker movement” is creating opportunities for hobbyists and entrepreneurs just about everywhere. Build shops (or maker spaces) have opened in various cities, where attendees can take a course or rent equipment. Such facilities often have tools common to the carpentry or metal working trades, but are also integrating CNC (computer numerical control), laser cutting and additive manufacturing (3D Printing) equipment into their spaces.
Libraries have traditionally been places where people go to discover new things through reading books and reviewing similar media. But these institutions are also changing with the times. No longer just a place for reading, many libraries are spurring further innovation and creativity by offering members the chance to use a 3D printer (among other modern technologies).
Youtube is likely the first place many people will go to see a 3D printer in action. If you’ve heard about a particular model and you want to learn more about it, just enter its name into a search engine and review the results. More often than not, you’ll find videos of the specific machine you’re interested in in action.
Although the increasingly consumer friendly desktop 3D printers have been available for some time now, it may still be a while before we see one in every home or workplace. As the technology grows in popularity, more breakthroughs from home users and hobbyists are likely to be seen.