MIT’s Natural Approach to 3D Printing

Graded concrete section created by a 3D printer. Photo courtesy of MIT.

Even after nearly two decades of development and use, 3D printing is still a relatively new technology. As is the case with most new technologies, the manner in which it is implemented is often based on what people expect from older technologies. Most 3D printers are used to create prototypes, but the creation of a prototype isn’t anything new, 3D printers just make the process faster.

The same is true of many actual products created by 3D printing. Companies use the technology to create the same products that have always existed. Jewelry made using 3D investment casting is basically the same as any other jewelry that resulted from pouring metal into a mold. True breakthroughs in 3D printing will come when companies learn to change the form of their products, rather than just the manner in which they are created.

Graded concrete section created by a 3D printer.

It is to this end that researchers at MIT are pushing the boundaries of 3D printing. Led by Presidential Fellow


About the Author

John Newman

John Newman is a Digital Engineering contributor who focuses on 3D printing. Contact him via [email protected] and read his posts on Rapid Ready Technology.

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