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Who needs 3D movies when a 3D printer is nearby and you find yourself inspired by the inventive spirit?

Consumer Technology

3D Printers Gain Momentum in Worlds of Design & Invention

Who needs 3D movies when a 3D printer is nearby and you find yourself inspired by the inventive spirit?

The 3D printer at work

Who needs 3D movies when a 3D printer is nearby and you find yourself inspired by the inventive spirit?

For those people who haven’t yet witnessed how a 3D printer works, THIS VIDEO, featuring theoretical physicist David Kaplan on a visit to Z Corporation, a leading manufacturer of 3D printers and scanners, is a “must-see” for all designers, inventors and developers exploring solutions involving green technologies and applications.

To designers, engineers, architects, and just about anybody else who understands the need for prototyping, this innovation is already revolutionizing the way objects are being regarded in the reality of three-dimensional space.

Z Corp, launched in 1994, has a passion for innovation. As it states on its website, “Some people punch the clock. Others live to make a mark. If you get out of bed in the morning to push the boundaries of the possible, Z Corporation can help you get there. We exist because you are an inspired designer or engineer who wants to create more.”

For those wondering what the “Z” in Z Corporation means, it refers to the third dimension in the Cartesian coordinate system: x is the horizontal axis and y is the vertical axis. An oft-overlooked third axis representing depth is the z axis.

The company manufactures the following:

  • ZPrinter – These 3D printers streamline the design process, quickly and affordably turn product and building designs into physical color models
  • ZBuilder – Rapid prototyping systems that create detailed plastic prototypes for engineering design verification, enabling late-stage testing of form, fit and function
  • ZScanner – 3D laser scanners precisely capture physical surface data for import into 3D CAD software, facilitating reverse-engineering

From a manufacturing perspective, this video from the Science Channel shows how the printers are used for replication. The printer can produce 16 complex 3D models every five hours.

In a world where green and sustainable solutions are often being called for on short-term notice, featuring minimal budgets, these 3D technologies can provide a remarkable toolkit. Unfortunately, most 3D printers come with a high price tag. Z Corp’s line of printers run from $14,900 to $24,900. This website  provides industry pricing and operational comparisons.

As The Economist wrote on Feb. 10, “Far-fetched as this may seem, many other people are using three-dimensional printing technology to create similarly remarkable things. These include medical implants, jewellery, football boots designed for individual feet, lampshades, racing-car parts, solid-state batteries and customised mobile phones. Some are even making mechanical devices. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Peter Schmitt, a PhD student, has been printing something that resembles the workings of a grandfather clock. It took him a few attempts to get right, but eventually he removed the plastic clock from a 3D printer, hung it on the wall and pulled down the counterweight. It started ticking.”

May innovations that make a difference in our world become increasingly more widespread using these technologies.

PHOTO: Curious Cat Engineering & Science Blog


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Written By

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.


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