3D Printing Technology
3D printing, also known as rapid prototyping, has been around for some years in R&D and aerospace industries. However it is only in recent years that the advancement of this amazing technology provided a large proportion of designers and manufacturers the opportunity to use commercial desktop 3D printers to visualise their designs.
3D printers are now accessible and affordable by design students and small businesses or the general public.
I am the proud owner of a 3D Printer - the MakerBot Replicator (5th Generation).
During the 3rd year of my Industrial Design degree, I had the opportunity to build a 3D printer as part of a group assignment. This included the construction of the machines structure and electronics system; calibration of the device and trail printing. The task was to print objects as accurately as possible.
In mid-2014, I purchased my own desktop 3D Printer, the MakerBot Replicator (5th Generation) pictured on this page. I used this mainly to assist with the design process of my Honours project - The MODU head protection system.
Now I am able to translate my ideas from sketches on paper into digital 3D form (using CAD), then into a physical 3D form right on my desktop/workbench.
Having access to this technology provides me with the ability to properly examine any design in its true physical form, thus gaining a greater understanding of the design process and honing my design skills.