Although the field of 3D printing has a lot of complexities, the theory behind the technology is elegantly simple. Instead of removing material from something larger to shape it—a method humans have used to create things for millennia—3D printing adds material to a manufacturing substrate, giving it the more technical term additive manufacturing.
It’s a quiet revolution, and now material innovations are driving the field to unimagined heights.
As a technology, 3D printing still has a lot of problems to iron out before it can become truly mainstream. And even then, it’ll only be as good as the materials. Many still equate 3D printing with polymers, an idea left over from the surge of consumer interest in the 2010s.
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