How 3D Printing Really Works

Tom Sancelot 3D Printing Leave a Comment

At first glance, 3D printing looks like science fiction pulled straight from the big screen. How can a machine replicate an object simply at the push of a button? To understand how 3D printing works, all you have to do is reach back to when you talked about caves in science class.

How 3D Printing Works: The Stalagmite Explanation

Stalagmites are the sharp points of rock that point up from the floor of a cave. Water in caves contains minerals, and when that water drips down from the ceiling of a cave it creates an accumulation of material deposited on the floor. Over thousands of years those deposits build up, leading to the creation of a stalagmite. 3D printing is a lot like that, except at hyper speed and directed by a computer rather than by nature.

how 3d printing works

Stalagmites and 3D printed objects have a very similar creation process.
Copyright: kkzoli / 123RF Stock Photo and

When you start up a 3D printer you input a blueprint for the item you want to create. We refer to that blueprint as 3D model, design or file. This could be something as simple as a six-sided die or something more complicated like a miniature figurine, but whatever it is you’re printing it needs to have its exact measurements fed into the 3D printer. Once those measurements are entered the printer creates the object one layer at a time, the same way a rock formation would be shaped in an underground cavern.

The Future of 3D Printing Technology?

3D printing is not precisely a new technology, it emerged in the 1980’s, but a price war combined with continuous improvements in printing accuracy, speed and materials makes it affordable to be used by everyday consumers. Until now it was mainly used by manufacturing and industrial corporations for making parts and pieces on site. The uses that a 3D printer would have in an individual’s home are practically limitless. From coffee cups and fashion accessories to sex toys and furnishings, a 3D printer can make a lot of trips to the store completely redundant.

Tom Sancelot on Linkedin
Tom Sancelot
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Tom Sancelot is a French entrepreneur living in Canada.
Feeling the sex toy industry was bound to change with the growth of 3D printing technology, he launched in 2014. It's been a techy and sexy ride ever since.

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