What, Exactly, Is a 3-D Printer?
You can make anything from a pistol to a doll to an airplane wing. Here's how it works.
He then put design software online so that—in theory, at least—anyone in the world who downloaded the software and had access to a commercial 3-D printer and $60 worth of plastic could make their own handgun.
It was a demonstration that not only sparked a lively debate on gun control in the U.S. and abroad, but also threw a spotlight on a vibrant, fast-developing manufacturing technology that could change the shape of the future.
Invented in the mid-1980s, it is a printer that uses plastic, wax, resin, paper, gold, titanium—a whole host of materials—instead of ink to create a solid, three-dimensional object. In much the same way that your desktop printer is directed to print the words in a document, the