Like traditional printing, which takes a blank piece of paper and creates two-dimensional images and text out of seemingly nowhere, 3D printing creates fully realized objects out of nothing. It’s a fascinating procedure that can be useful in a number of fields.
3D printers are expensive. Traditional paper-and-ink printers will cost you hundreds of dollars, but 3D printers will set you back tens of thousands. Fortunately, you don’t need to own a personal 3D printer since there are already a number of services that will print 3D objects for you. If you’re interested, check out Shapeways and Sculpteo.
Due to the expensive nature of stereolithography, other forms of 3D printing have been pioneered. These newer techniques have their own advantages and disadvantages, but most of them are far cheaper and more accessible to the everyman.
BENEFITS OF 3D PRINTING
3D printers are useful in both a commercial and personal capacity. The only real barrier to personal 3D printing is the extraordinary cost involved and the technical know-how necessary to create working STL models. If you can get over that initial hump, then you'll see the many benefits.
Design-related work is made much faster and easier with 3D printers. Designers can take concepts and ideas and quickly produce a working three-dimensional representation–called rapid prototyping. As the design evolves over time, each iteration can be prototyped almost immediately.
3D printing technology is not exactly a world changer, but it's certainly fascinating and valuable. Companies all over the world already employ 3D printing in their manufacturing processes. Hobbyists already print out singular objects for their own enjoyment. Within the next decade,it's entirely possible that we’ll see household printers that create 3D objects at our own behest.