We are passionate about 3D printing and hope we can incite the passion in you, too. When I am asked why, a myriad of ideas pop into my head – so many it is difficult to be clear. So I have narrowed the list to 3!
Well actually, it’s been around for over 30 years, with the first working 3D printer being made in 1984. What’s new is that 3D printing is now accessible for everyone and the possibilities are endless.
It’s Open Source
Adrian Bowyer, from the University of Bath, decided, in 2005, that the technology should be available to everyone. He started the Reprap project where designs for self-build 3D printers use GNU General Public Licences. These designs can be improved using our collective intellect. The Arduino Project, also started in 2005, provided open source electronics components to control the Reprap printers.
In 2008, Zack Smith began the Thingiverse, a place where designs for 3D printed objects can be shared and made available via GNU General Public Licences. These 3 open source projects have worked together to accelerate the development of 3D printing technology and have spawned new businesses and opportunities.
In the past, new technologies have been subject to secrecy and patents, effectively keeping the technology expensive and controlled by a few companies. We applaud the spirit of open source as it takes power and control away from big companies and puts it in the hands of ordinary people.
Who knows where the world of 3D printing will take us? The technology and opportunities are changing all the time. Some say that if you can dream it, you can make it -we are many years from that possibility but we are on the journey headed in that direction. What will we find along the way? How will objects be designed and used in the future? Who will shape our lives? This is what makes being involved the 3D world so exciting.
That’s what we like – what do you like about 3D printing?