3d printers are clever machines. Whether they work in metals, plastics or composites they are changing the way we create physical objects.
What they don’t have, are flashes of inspiration. They don’t suddenly boot up and create something awesome. You can’t show it a sketch and you can’t sit it down with a coffee and carefully explain what you want it to make for you.
3d printers need design files. They need them in a format that they understand, and are very particular about how the data is arranged and presented.
Sound troublesome? It’s precisely the same as the last document you printed with your normal printer. The printer didn’t decide what to print, you did. ? Admittedly your laptop or tablet made the process very easy, but in effect you were the designer of what appeared on the paper. You and your laptop talked to the printer in ‘printer language’, and it went ahead and did the work.
The process of interaction with a 3d printer is conceptually identical but requires a different set of skills and technical know-how. (As does the operation, calibration and maintenance of the printer but that’s a story for another day..)!
A lack of these skills does not preclude a person or business from benefiting from the 3d print industry. A skillful 3d print team will make the process smooth and simple. You can show us sketches and you can sit us down with a coffee and explain what you want us to make. Only around a half of our work is completed from an existing design. The other half is an interpretation of what the customer asked for, designed by us, submitted for approval, and constructed with care, precision and experience.
3d printing is adding value to businesses across the globe. In the technical sector the early adopters are now becoming technology leaders and are also avoiding downtime issues with on-demand spares. Companies are saving money and improving outcomes in the prototyping, engineering design and low-volume productions arenas. The sales and exhibition environment has been similarly transformed, with companies able to sell using the universal language of physical things.
3d printing is available to help you solve problems today. The industry grows annually by around 60% and is set to continue. It is anticipated that £0.6bn will be spent in 2016 on metal 3d printers alone and each one sold will solve problems, improve outcomes and add value.
If you need to know more contact your local 3d print service provider and throw questions at them.
It’s what they want you to do.