Monday, March 21, 2016

Printing In The 3rd Dimension

My son is very much into the Jurassic Park movie series. I have seen all of them previously, but the experience of watching them again with my son is amazing. Watching them again all these years later has allowed me to notice some things that I had not previously paid attention to. Specifically, I was thrilled, while watching the third installment in the series, to see the archaeologists using a "Rapid Prototyping Machine" to produce a working 3D model of a velociraptor resonating chamber. The reason for my excitement? This was a real-world use of 3D printing technology.
The 3D printing technology in this film from 2001 has grown and expanded quite rapidly in recent years. The manufacturing industry routinely uses this technology to create samples and models; the medical industry is using "Bio Ink" to print human skin, ears, and kidneys, as well as more affordable prosthetic limbs; sugars and other food substances are being utilized to print intricate candies, cakes, and piping designs impossible to create by hand; for better or worse, the technology is being used to print working firearms; desktop 3D printers are becoming increasingly affordable, allowing for schools and tinkerers to have easy access to the technology. The future of 3D printing technology is wide open and we should see some amazing uses going forward.

For those that don't know, FASD is blessed to have THREE of these 3D printers available for use! If you would like to learn more about how you might utilize 3D printing in your classroom, let's talk! The actual printing process is as simple as me bringing the printer to your classroom, downloading your designs, and getting the process started!