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3D printing is proving to be one of the most game-changing technologies of recent times, giving consumers the ability to produce real-life, 3D objects in their own homes. With developers and the general public introducing more and more applications of the technology, interest is certainly picking up.

However, those not familiar with 3D printing may be puzzled at how a simple device can effortlessly churn out tangible, usable items. So how exactly does it work? Contact us to find out.

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing, which should give a major hint to how the process works. In a nutshell, the objects 3D printers produce are created by adding many different layers until the intended object is formed.

It all starts, of course, with a digital concept. Computer aided design (CAD) software is used to create a virtual replication of the object on the computer, and this design is then sent to the printer to be produced in real life.

Whatever material is used to create the 3D item, the software first breaks the object down into thousands of incredibly thin 2D layers. Following the design generated on the computer, these layers are then successively added on top of each other until the final object is completed.

As such, if you look closely at most 3D printed items, you may be able to spot the miniscule layers that have been accumulated to create it.

While most objects created by 3D printing so far have relied on simple materials such as plastics and rubber, the increasing scope of applications could see the technology expand in future. For example, some people are already ‘printing’ chocolate and other sweets by using sugar as the printer material.

It will certainly be interesting to see how 3D printing develops in the future and what other items can be created. Is there a way you can incorporate 3D printing into your organisation?