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Lesson 2 of 5
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3D Printing


Why should we learn about 3D Printing?

 What’s so cool about it?

What problems can we solve with it?

What is 3D Printing?

3D Printing Examples

Could 3D Printing Save our Reefs?

The U.S based non-profit, New Story has teamed up with the tech company ICON to build the world’s first 3D printed neighborhood in Tabasco, Mexico. It’s part of their project working to combat global homelessness.

Using New Story’s printer, known as “Vulcan 2,” they are able to quickly build safe shelters. Instead of traditional methods, he founded New Story to be able to face large scale disasters with new robotic technology that can quickly rebuild communities in dire need. 

3D Printed Neighborhood 1
3D Printed Neighborhood 2

Astronauts conduct scientific research using dozens of special facilities aboard the space station, which also provides them with a place to eat, sleep, relax and exercise. To make all of this possible requires sending more than 7,000 pounds of spare parts to the station annually. 

This logistics support system works well for a spacecraft that is orbiting 250 miles above Earth and readily accessible to cargo resupply missions, but it’s not practical for future missions to the Moon and Mars. Astronauts on these long voyages need to be able to make their own spare parts, tools and materials essentially on demand – both for routine needs and to adapt quickly to unforeseen ones. In-space manufacturing (ISM) using 3D printing technology could be an answer.

Space Flights

Ivan Owen is an artist who designs props and gadgets. He created a mechanical hand for a steampunk convention and posted videos of it online. A carpenter in South Africa who had lost four fingers in an accident saw these videos. He collaborated with Owen on creating a prosthetic hand for himself and things went on from there.

A prosthetic hand can cost thousands of dollars; however, a 3D printed prosthesis could be made for as little as $50. Making cost-effective prosthetics can impact the lives of many for the better.

3D Printed Prosthetics

When you’re starting out with CNC or 3D Printing, the first thing you’ll want to get your arms around is creating some sort of model, drawing, or representation of your part.  

Most of the time this is a function of a CAD (Computer Aided Design) program, but not always. You may also need to start from images, vector art from a drawing program, or perhaps some other file types. 

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3D Printing Understanding
Print Project