Chapter 3

Exploring Applications of 3D Printing

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Exploring current uses of 3D printing

check Developing new products with 3D printing

check Using 3D printing for molding and casting

check Customizing printed objects

check Tweaking existing designs

The promise of additive manufacturing is that it makes possible the local, on-demand creation of any product in a fully personalized manner. Enthusiasts of additive manufacturing see that day as being just around the corner. Supporters of 3D printing see in this promise the possibility that 3D printing will repatriate manufacturing functions and manufacturing jobs to local communities; reduce waste materials; eliminate the need for spare parts; and use biodegradable, sustainable alternative materials in place of the durable petroleum-based plastics that currently pour into landfills.

Despite the advantages of this new paradigm, critics of additive manufacturing exist. Some are already implementing campaigns to discredit 3D printing objects by asking ...

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