How 3D printing works
Let’s say you’re an engineer. You’ve made a design of a bridge with your CAD software, and you wonder how it will hold up in real life. There was a time when you’d have to cut and glue and paint your own prototypes, but with a 3D printer you just click a button and wait.
Picture an inkjet that not only moves horizontally, but also vertically. The 3D printer builds layer upon layer of, for instance, plaster dust, and fuses it together with a laser or tiny drops of glue. Gradually, the object takes form, and after a couple of hours you’ve got yourself a prototype.