An Introduction to 3D Printing

Feel fortunate! You are living at a time when technology is increasingly helping people become masters of their environments. A 3D printer puts the power of a manufacturing plant on your desk and opens worlds of opportunities that you (and the rest of humanity) have never experienced before.

Industrial 3D printing has been around since the 1980s. The technology became available to hobbyists and consumers in 2009 when the RepRap project brought together thinkers and coders from around the world to create a freely open codebase. This gave anyone the ability to build a personal 3D printer, such as the very early example shown in Figure P-1.

Using an open source design (which grants a free license to a product’s blueprints), ...

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