3D printers have been a been on the leading edge of technology and innovation in recent years.  They are used by professional designers, artists, and hobbyists.  The technology they run on has been developed over the past ten years and is still being pushed to the limit.  Some modern 3d printers allow projects to be printed in virtually any material.  Making prototyping and fabrication a seamless and integrated part of the design process.  3D printing has allowed designers to digitally create designs and test their designs by printing them on almost any scale.

gray 3D printer

This is a technology that hobbyist quickly jumped on.  Model makers and artists are now able to create new and unique creations at the push of a button as well as refining designs to amazing detail and create projects that may not be possible by hand.  Not to mention that those projects become easily repeatable.

Like most innovative technologies 3d printing comes with a high price margin and this is where the issue comes with most students and hobbyists.  How does one get into 3d printing?  I have had minimal experience with 3D printing, the most basic being finding a file online and asking a professor to print it out for me.  Ultimately, I would like to learn just how accessible the hobby is?  Come up with a design or complicated project and execute, teach myself 3D printing from the absolute basics.  Is this something a student would be able to do?  Is this something a student might want to do? And how would I be able to teach this to future generations.

I would like to note that while I’m starting with a grand total of zero prints of experience, I do have a vast amount of experience in the area of sculpture with a fascination with design.  I also have some experience with high tech programing which I imagine will make the learning curve slightly easier for me then it might for someone just starting out.  I hope to find a educational method that will help students from the ground up understand and be able to design their own projects in the future.


black printing machine printing on black and green pad