3D printing hype and when it goes wrong

3D printing hype and when it goes wrong
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By Posted 20 Aug 2013, 08:44

Using 3D printing to design a solid object with a computer is an amazing feat and some quite spectacular models have been made using this technology, but in many cases, the finished article does not always come out the way it was expected. While we have seen many great creations coming through the 3D printing process, users are less inclined to show us the end result when it all goes wrong.

According to enthusiast Richard Horne, he has experienced more failures with 3D printing than successes, and on the BBC website we can see some of the failed attempts with images of unsuccessful error that Horne calls “plastic pasta“.

While many of us seem to be excited about the growing technology that allows users to create such things with printers, The Age feel we should curb our enthusiasm for this, and highlight comments from US President Barack Obama back in February giving us the impression 3D printing will “revolutionise the way we make almost everything“.

The expectations of this technology are so high that they feel disappointment is inevitable, and although we will see this working seamlessly in the future we are still some time away. They feel that we will start seeing more advances made over the next decade or so, but regard 3D printing as still some way off being reliable and as efficient as people are being led to believe.

With excess hype, the 3D printing department could face backlash, much like electric cars and solar energy, which has been given too much credit in the past. They acknowledge that 3D printing is a technological breakthrough, although the potential of this has been speculative considering we are still in the early stages of this being the success expected.

It’s fine to be excited about 3D printing, but we must not get ahead of ourselves and hopefully time will be the greatest asset when it comes to flawless 3D printing, although we are now getting the impression this technology still has some way to go before we give the praise it deserves.

Are you excited about the potential of 3D printing? Maybe you also feel that this is a work in progress and needs plenty of time to be the technological breakthrough that it is being hyped up to be.

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