3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is fundamentally distinct from other manufacturing processes. In 3D printing, material is deposited one layer at a time, ultimately building up a part made of these discrete layers. There are a variety of ways to build objects in layers, but the most common and most affordable machines typically work like glorified robotic glue-guns, laying down beads of melted plastic one layer at a time. 3D printing is a type of digital manufacturing, where digital manufacturing is any computer controlled manufacturing technique that enables the production of models designed with digital design software. Digital manufacturing methods include both additive and subtractive (where material is removed) processes.
As defined by the Open Source Hardware Association, open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it. Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs.
3D printing allows product designers to blur the line between a 3D printed prototype and a finished product. A 3D printed product is always a work in progress — it’s a prototype. By treating a 3D printed prototype more like a stand-alone product you can quickly gather the data you need to make changes and […]Continue reading