This past week I have decided to dedicate to the technical report. After my tutorial with Paul on Monday, I felt like I might be falling behind and so I set myself the goal of completing the second chapter of a total of five chapters.
On Tuesday I was able to finally sort my problems regarding the structure of the second chapter. The chapter had moved from focusing mainly on MIT to outlining the original machines that began the additive manufacture movement and the companies who developed them into an industry. I was able to fully complete the second chapter – The origins of 3D printing and so I began writing the third chapter – The Modern 3D printer.
On Wednesday, I was able to flesh out the modern 3D printer chapter, with research from a variety of sources, based mainly on the four 3D printing technologies and the different machines which cater to the user’s needs. I also described the evolution of desktop 3D printers, a market which has grown at a remarkable rate within the past few years. After completing the Modern 3D Printer, I was also able to begin The Impact on Design chapter, which focused on how 3D printers have revolutionised the way designers can work.
On Thursday, I was able to complete The Impact on Design chapter, where I had identified how 3D printers have changed the way designers are able to design and create products as well as how they can be manufactured for the market. I was then able to complete my final chapter based on The Future Development of 3D Printing, which entailed interesting research into printing organic molecules, printed architecture and also how NASA are using 3D printing in space. Upon completion of this chapter, I was able to conclude a variety of points:
Firstly, it is clear that the expiration of many 3D printing related patents means that more creations can be brought to market at far cheaper prices, making 3D printing a far more appealing prospect for manufacturing companies.
Secondly, current trends seem set for 3D printing to bring about a new revolution in commercial products, where products can be manufactured at far smaller scale with lower costs. Products can also be customised to each user without costing more to manufacture. Customers can also easily create their own designs or even manufacture their product themselves.
Thirdly, it is clear that the 3D printing revolution will have to be adequately monitored and regulated. Without sufficient regulation, the public could easily create products that either disregard patents and copyrights or even break the laws associated with public safety by creating fully printed weapons.
Finally, if current market trends continue, it is clear that within the next five years, it would be possible for there to be a desktop 3D printer in every home for everyone to use, creating an industrial age where the consumer no longer relies on large companies to provide their products.
I feel that the work I have done is of the standard expected of me, or at least to the standard I have been measuring my work against – the past examples… I feel as though I have had a eureka moment kind of week where I have been able to motivate myself by reminding myself of the joy that will ensue upon completion of the the report… I am really happy with the work I have done this week and I greatly look forward to meeting Paul and talking through with him the work I have done!