Good evening my fellow steemians! Tonight I want to present my weekly series highlighting another technology that I believe will bring abundance: The 3-d printer.
Desktop personal 3-D printing is becoming cheaper everyday. The printer featured above is the RepRap Prusa i3 that I bought from a company the RepRap Gurus. I grabbed my printer for around $320 USD a year ago https://reprapguru.com/ which is now listed for about $279 USD.
There are many different types of filaments you can print with now and here are a few myself and my buddy use.
T-Glase - good for food grade applications
ABS- Good for higher strength applications
PLA- most common usually the beginner material because of lower extrusion temps
PETG- good for higher strength applications
TPU- rubber like prints, highly flexible
Most of these plastics can also be shredded and re-extruded to create new filaments making a renewable operation.
I see many people having these in their homes with the ability to create filaments and products they may need without having to run to the store.
There are huge advances in 3-d printing as well including Metal 3-d Printing which I believe is the next paradigm creating metal parts with similar strength to machined parts. One of the pioneering companies I've found out there is called Markforged https://markforged.com/. They began by adding carbon fiber and fiberglass in their 3-d prints for high strength parts.
Many fibers laid in one direction contribute their tensile strength to each other, thus you can create a part that is very strong in certain directions depending on how you print your part.
Another new application is coming into the construction industry creating homes with 3-d printing concrete. There was recently a story of a charity using the technology to create $4,000 homes. https://newstorycharity.org/3d-home/
Where we are going we will also be building in space! I just ran across a paper from NASA testing 3-d printing in Space https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20160008972.pdf
Peace and Joy @makinstuff