…Importantly, 3D printing has allowed designers to consider a new approach to design. Inside 3D Printing made clear that the concept of “design for manufacture” is starting to fade with the onset of 3D printing. Conference presenters Isaac Katz, Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti noted that artists and designers are now able to design and 3D print virtually any geometric structure their minds can conjure. This ability, when paired with the high precision capability of virtual effects and CAD software, now allows designers and makers to think about creating as nature does. The ultimate impact of this exciting development is that the objects we make can now reflect the organic, layered, fluid and undulating structures found in nature – structures that would be cost prohibitive or impossible to make otherwise.
…In addition to highlighting these and many other exciting developments in the industry, Inside 3D Printing also raised a number of questions about the future of the technology and its impact on existing processes. As the technology develops, 3D Printing has identified several key questions for industry participants to consider moving forward:
- How will materials experts within the industry, as well as the maker community, continue to harness the technology into practical applications and make it widely accessible?
- What will be the environmental impact of 3D printing, and how will the ability to print objects in more varied and earth-friendly materials develop?
- What will be the social impact of this technology?
Professor, author, roboticist Hod Lipson
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!