Types of 3D Printing.


Fused Deposition Modeling 3D Printing


We will be looking at 3D technology quite a bit through this process of creating the sculpture of Booker T. Washington. Let’s familiarize ourselves with the different kinds of 3D printing. There are many different types of 3D printers. We will look at three.

Fused deposition Modeling or FDM

FDM 3D printing is the type that most schools or libraries have. They use a filament that lays layer upon layer like a glue gun and don’t usually have a high resolution or can capture great detail.


Selective Laser Sintering 3D Printing

Selective Laser Sintering

Selective Laser Sintering or SLS is another type of 3D printing. It uses a laser that sinters a powder. Again it is done layer by layer. The resolution can be very good.


Stereolithography or (SLA) is yet another kind of 3D printing. In this case, a laser hits resin and solidifies it layer by layer.


Stereolithography 3D Printing

3D printing is older than you think. Here is an excellent article about the history of 3D Printing. The reason why so many machines are available now is that the patents on the machines have run out. This leaves them open for others to expand on and modify.

Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon speaks about 3D printing and was, a few years back, awarded the honor of one of 30 most influential women in 3D printing. She loves to share resources. Here are a few of her favorite videos that she shares when she speaks.

Laika is a production company that has made movies like Coroline, Box Trolls, and ParaNorman. They use something called replacement animation, combined with stop motion animation in creating the work. Here is how it is done.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu62AzWPTDs]

In 2009 as Bridgette was researching different 3D printers for her graduate study she became curious about 3D printing of organs.  She has written several blog posts about it and even created a podcast with one artist about technology and organs. Here is an old video about 3D printing of organs.  This topic is one worth a discussion. Being able to print an organ would be great for those who need a kidney, lung or heart and are on a transplant list. But Bridgette talks about how disassociated we are from things in the lab in this podcast with Oron Catts.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80DhBLEhdzk]

What do you think about 3D printing used in medical procedures? Do you think just because we can do things, like printing organs or other technology that we should? What kind should we not do? When has technology gotten out of hand?

How has 3D printing of organs changed since the 2009 video shown above? What were the challenges in 3D printing organs?

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon


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