3D Printers in the Modern Day
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As modern day technologies advance, new machines are created for the better or for the worse. When the 3D printer was first invented, it was originally used as a replacement for injection molded plastic parts. That was in 1983; now they are used for anything from making plastic combs to prosthetic arms!
Ever since the dawn of the Digital Age, everyone has been in a rush to produce the next innovation in technology. When a vast amount of people became interested in 3D printers, companies that make them began to show up everywhere. MakerBot, Ultimaker, Robo3D – – these are just a few of the many 3D printer companies out there now.
At first, 3D printers started at the bare minimum with a simple extruder and a moving build plate. For those who don’t know, the extruder on a 3D printer is the machine that extrudes the plastic to be printed. Then, companies began to use more experimental technologies on these printers, such as using two extruders; others started to use heated build plates.
After a while, 3D printers started getting larger. At first the build plates were small, only allowing small objects to be printed. Then, certain companies expanded upward and outward allowing for larger prints, utilizing every inch of space left inside the printer. Although these printers were great, they were small consumer-sized printers; larger 3D printer manufacturers decided that still wasn’t enough. They designed printers that could print in different materials. Some companies went different routes than others: large fabricating companies made printers that could print in carbon fiber or fiberglass; other companies designed printers that could print in steel and other metals.
Today, there are printers that can even make food! Of course, you need to put the ingredients for the food into the printer. Like most products, 3D printers can be used for creating good or bad objects. Beneficial uses of 3D printers include making prosthetic arms, bones, medications, or with certain medical printers, you can print skin cells back onto a burn wound. Hospitals plan on using this technology on people who were injured from explosions during war. 3D printers can change the world as we know it; let’s hope they are used for good, not evil.