© Joan Horvath, Rich Cameron 2020
J. Horvath, R. CameronMastering 3D Printinghttps://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-5842-2_1

1. Why Use a 3D Printer?

Joan Horvath1  and Rich Cameron1
Nonscriptum LLC, Pasadena, CA, USA

3D printing has been around since the 1980s. It has exploded in popularity since key patents began to run out in the 2000s, and by the mid-2010s low-cost 3D printers were everywhere. In the ensuing excitement, there was a lot of hype and a sense that soon everyone would have a 3D printer at home and would manufacture some large part of their consumer goods.

Reality has turned out to be both more and less interesting than that. Learning to use a 3D printer requires two distinct sets of skills. First, a user has to be comfortable with computer-aided ...

Get Mastering 3D Printing: A Guide to Modeling, Printing, and Prototyping now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.