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8 January 2014

Cube 3 - making 3d printing easier and more accessible than ever.

Hello readers and happy new year,

2013 was a great year for us here at SoVibrant and we have some very exciting things in-store for 2014 so stay tuned.

Although it has been around since the 1980's, it wasn't until around 2010 that 3D printing properly emerged. This was mainly due to new technologies making it commercially available to more people. It was especially noticeable in 2013, with the 3D printers becoming more accessible for everyday users and not just wealthy institutes. It is safe to say that 3D printing is going to have an ever increasing impact on the modern world.

Image courtesy of Google images.
To anybody unfamiliar with the idea and process of 3D printers it may sound like something straight out of science fiction. In reality it's a relatively straight forward evolution from 2D printing, the idea of creating a 3D object is by placing down layer upon layer of material and binding with glue. That is essentially the process, but by having it completed by a machine gives the user the freedom to create delicately complex designs.

Example of 3d scanning and printing service offered to customers by supermarket Asda, allowing customers to get scale models of themselves.
 Using the appropriate software, a user can design and model an object in digital form. The printer will then build up the physical model layer by layer, in the same respect as a 2D printer would. The difference being that the 3D printer works in all three dimensions layering the model generally from top to bottom or bottom to top. Some of the early machines would lay down a layer of powder relative to the cross section of the digital form it was creating followed by a layer of glue match the same shape, this would bond the material to that shape and to previous layers already laid down. This process is repeated moving vertically revealing the model in physical form slowly. Below are some videos showing the printing process, and the level of complexity that can be achieved.   

This technology being available in the own home will allow people to create things for themselves, whether this is art work or essentials to be used in day to day life. As the technology is honed and developed the design and usability of these printers will improve greatly.

3D System's Cube 3 is one of the latest generations of printer, available to purchase in July it offers a printer with plug and play capabilities for less than $1000. Offering features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to simultaneous multi-material and dual colour printing it also boasts double the printing speed of other alternatives. Put all this in a very cool design and you have a product that would look at home in most households. 

3D System's Cube 3, courtesy of  www.cubify.com

Currently purchasing one would be a luxury to most people, but in years to come I see it as been as common in households as a kettle.
 So go out and get one, the only limitation is your own imagination. Check these guys out, they've created enormous edible chocolate 3D printed art!!! 

Below is a selection of work created using a 3D printer. 

All images courtesy of Google images.

Ryan Blackburn - Media Productions


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