Thursday, 17 October 2013

Print me 3D

The average household printer which the majority of us own can only handle the two dimensional world; which for our normal printing needs is sufficient enough. However for others living in a 3D world with a 2D printer just really isn't enough and so they have taken printing to a whole other dimension.

The concept of 3D printers, is not really revolutionary as they have been around for a few years but these printers were more used for printing materials such as plastics. However, the Amaze project has completely rehauled this method and seeks to develop new printable metal compounds which are stronger, lighter and cheaper than their traditional counterparts. 28 institutions, comprising of companies, universities and businesses have teamed up to achieve their goal of printing metallic rocket and plane pieces, in a bid to try and reduce waste, carbon emissions and save money. 

The main metal they are excited about is an alloy of tungsten and they unveiled a prototype of this on Tuesday at London's Science Museum. This alloy has the incredible property of being able to withstand temperatures of up to 3,000C.

As you read this blog, factories are being set up in 6 countries including the UK, to help and develop the industrial supply chain.  So far the only part to be printed has been a 2m section of an aeroplane wing. 

Who knows, maybe this development in technology will lead us to eventually being able to print, complete customised planes, trains and cars.  But is this a good development for the industry? An industry rife with job losses and deficits? It is a possibility. 

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