CT&D #25. Researching Digital Printing in 3D

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What was a topic in digital printing that you wrote on and researched?

I wrote my paper on 3D printing, a unique process of printing that was developed relatively recently which today is becoming more and more common. As 3D printing relates to digital printing in the manner of printing from a digital based image (as well as how the process was conceived from inkjet printing), I thought of looking into how 3D printing was different from other processes which set the layout for writing my paper. Right off the bat, I thought of 3D printing to be a bit self-explanatory; I thought it meant printing via an image to be rendered in pseudo-3D on a piece of paper. Little did I know that 3D printing actually meant 3D Printing as in rendering objects in physical 3D.

Basically, a 3D printer would have to be loaded with material (i.e. powder, metals, plastics) where layers would be formed in succession based on whatever shape an image depicts on a monitor. These layers (or cross-sections) are fused/ molded together to make a solid object come to life all from a print file (usually STL). The process kind of relates to 3D sculpture in that the goal is to make a design from physical manipulation (cutting, slicing) but differs in that sculpting is the process of removing (subtracting) from a blank slate of material to make a design come out while 3D printing is just piecing together parts of an object to make a whole product.

What really got me to write a paper on 3D printing was my curiosity in the subject following what would have been an attempt at writing a paper on the eras of digital printing which I admit was too broad. When I heard back from my professor regarding my original topic, he mentioned how 3D printing has been seen more often today and how its use was noteworthy in making 3D objects in such a nonconventional manner. After some thought, I decided to focus on this topic and I am glad to have done so while learning a whole lot about what I researched.

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