Each week, I share some of the books and other resources I have found inspiring in my investigation into 3D design for 3D printing. The full list lives here on the pinboard “3D Design to 3D Print Inspirations” and each #3DThursday I share about those that I most highly recommend.
This week, I wanted to highlight Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printed by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman.
Robotics engineer Hod Lipson — director of Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab (CCML) and co-founder of Fab@Home — and technology/innovation writer Melba Kurman draw from extensive backgrounds to introduce the thirty year history of 3D printing to general audiences.
Several provocative topics such as “The ten principles of 3D printing” (shared here!) and “The language of shapes” synthesize years of teaching, writing, and speaking on these subjects and I found their arguments persuasive: information immediately useful for current 3D design/printing projects. While this is a book that focuses quite a bit on the future, and where things might be headed — there will be many like this and very few of them will be worth the paper (or bytes) they are written on — these projections into the future are built on a solid foundation of practical experience watching the field grow and evolve, so we are definitely learning something at the same time as tremendously entertained.
From the publisher’s description:
Fabricated tells the story of 3D printers, humble manufacturing machines that are bursting out of the factory and into schools, kitchens, hospitals, even onto the fashion catwalk. Fabricated describes our emerging world of printable products, where people design and 3D print their own creations as easily as they edit an online document.
A 3D printer transforms digital information into a physical object by carrying out instructions from an electronic design file, or ‘blueprint.’ Guided by a design file, a 3D printer lays down layer after layer of a raw material to ‘print’ out an object. That’s not the whole story, however. The magic happens when you plug a 3D printer into today’s mind-boggling digital technologies. Add to that the Internet, tiny, low cost electronic circuitry, radical advances in materials science and biotech and voila! The result is an explosion of technological and social innovation.
Fabricated takes the reader onto a rich and fulfilling journey that explores how 3D printing is poised to impact nearly every part of our lives.
Aimed at people who enjoy books on business strategy, popular science and novel technology, Fabricated will provide readers with practical and imaginative insights to the question ‘how will this technology change my life?’ Based on hundreds of hours of research and dozens of interviews with experts from a broad range of industries, Fabricated offers readers an informative, engaging and fast-paced introduction to 3D printing now and in the future.