Daily VideoFebruary 13, 2014
3-D printing turns ideas into reality right before your eyes
In what might be the most important technological innovation since the home computer, 3-D printers now allows engineers, designers and scientists to turn their ideas into physical realities right before their eyes.
3-D printing was invented 30 years ago, but it’s now coming of age. The devices can print in all kinds of metals, produce food and even human tissue. And the technology is coming home, just as computers did in the early 1980s.
But as exciting as the technology is, scientists are still working out some kinks. A 3-D printer can take many hours to print a complicated object.
Artist Micah Scott, who used to be a Silicon Valley hardware and software designer, is using a 3-D printer to create an LED art project.
“With 3-D printers, I have definitely been in that position where I’m kind of astounded to be holding this physical object that I had just designed hours ago,” she said.
However, the latest piece in her project took the printer took 18 hours to complete.
3-D printers have also raised safety concerns, as blueprints for 3-D printed firearms can now be found and downloaded online. A properly printed gun could be undetectable to metal detectors, while an improperly printed gun could explode in the user’s hand.
Although they are expensive, these printers are already being used as an education tool in classrooms, and are getting students excited about the possibilities of engineering.
“This is like what I want to do to see what I want to do with my future, if I want to be engineer or do I want to go into something else?” said Lamie West, a student at Buford Middle School in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Warm up questions
- What do you know about 3-D printers?
- What are the similarities and differences between 3-D printers and a printer you might find at home?
- What is a prototype? Why is a prototype important?
- If you had a 3-D printer, what would you use it for? Do you think it would make a significant difference in your life?
- What industries would be affected by a world where everyone had a 3-D printer?
- Do you think that one day everyone will have a 3-D printer in their home? Why or why not?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
More than 500 “March for Science” demonstrations took place around the U.S. and the world on Saturday in response to those who challenge widely-accepted scientific evidence and consensus. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The U.S. and North Korea exchanged threats Monday after Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the demilitarized zone between North an South Korea. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
West coast scientists are studying a deadly bat disease called white-nose syndrome after it spread to Washington state from the Northeast last year where it has killed more than 5.5 million bats since 2006. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The Senate confirmed U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch Friday in a 54-45 vote, following a contentious week of opposition from Democrats prompted Republicans to change Senate rules in order to push the vote through. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The U.S. launched nearly 60 missiles aimed at strategic air force targets in Syria Thursday night in retaliation for the Syrian’s government’s use of chemical weapons which killed at least 100 civilians on Tuesday. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld