3D printing is a process of a machine laying down thin layers of material eventually creating a 3D printed product.
3D printers have been around since the 1980’s, but only became commercially available in 2009. Since 2009, 3D printers have become much more accurate and MUCH cheaper! 3D printing materials have expanded over the years; including plastics (PLA, ABS), metals (titanium, steel), and food (NASA, chocolate, candy). The uses of 3D printing have expanded to include 3D printed hips/knees, vehicles, planes, and even homes!
In 2015, BCITS purchased a 3D printer to assist in creating plastic accessories, which were previously created using sheets of ABS that were cut and formed into shape. This process has been changed since the arrival of the 3D printer. Now a technician creates the shape using a software program on a computer, then sends the file to the printer which “prints” these accessories day and night…saving BCITS time and money in the process.
Not only were we able to recreate the pieces we used to make by hand, at a fraction of the cost, we also have expanded our 3D print library, with projects to help clients of the TIL and PROP programs. Check back for our next blog post, where we’ll unveil some of the things we’ve been able to produce with our 3D printer!