The World of 3D
Welcome to Houston TechFest
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Thank you for being a part of the
7th Annual Houston TechFest!
• Speaker presentation slides will be available at
www.houstontechfest.org within a week
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eligible for door prizes
So why are you here?
• I already have a Printer
• I saw one and want one
• I saw it on the web
• I saw it on the news
• I saw it on the schedule and though it was
• I didn’t have anything else in this slot and didn’t
want to sit in the common area
What are we talking about?
• There’s actually two paths to this story
– Commercial 3D printing/Rapid Prototyping
– What you’ve been seeing in the media (consumer level
• There’s an additional world of subtractive
manufacturing that’s happening but isn’t getting
as much press
– CNC Routers
– CNC Milling
• Commercial printers have been around since the
80’s (by some measures earlier than that)
• Commercial printers have a wide variety of
– Photo Cure Epoxies
• Consumer printers started with the expiration of
the FFD Patents (Fused Filament Deposition)
• RepRap/Fab@Home projects were early projects
in this area
• Based upon precise X/Y/Z control of an extruder
• Extruders normally work with specific ranges of
• Commercial printers are starting to flood the
• Consumer printers
– ABS. Flexible. Strong. Warps.
– PLA. Brittle. Strong. Stable. Compostable.
– Nylon. Flexible. Strong. Stable. Temperamental.
– Wood. Brittle. Weaker. Stable. Temperamental.
• Blends of materials to provide various capabilities.
• Continuous advances in materials mixes.
• Replicator-G is the open source champion
• Multiple slicer releases enable different
• Makerware is another common software package
• Design software tends to be what you’re
comfortable with. Sketchup, Inventor, SolidWorks
– most if it’s based on your budget.
• Next February 4 more patents expire.
• Selective Material Sintering is going to create a
new generation of printers.
• Provides capabilities for Metals and other new
materials such as ceramics.
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