3D Printing as a Forming Method
Three-dimensional printing (the many effects of which have been much discussed in the last few years) has beckoned the coming into being of a new method in prototype production that has started to appear in industry – additive manufacturing. In one fell swoop, this technological development has the potential to replace individual production skills that have been used for hundreds of years. Cutting, puncturing, casting, joining, bolting and dozens of other learnt techniques in craft and design, or subtractive manufacturing, may be rendered obsolete. In additive manufacturing, the final product is designed digitally and sent to the printer, where the raw materials are allowed to form together or powder grains are structured until they harden in physical form. Plastic or powder provides the base material as it can be moulded variously in the additive production method.