3D printing is a very interesting technology in my opinion;it allows for the creation of some seriously intricate pieces. These models canhave quite a few attributes that other manufactured products can’t produce.These parts allow for the creation of a piece layer by layer. What is sosignificant about layer by layer production? Essentially, creating a part layerby layer allows for the creation of virtually any shape. Quite a variety ofpieces arise through 3D printing. Some of these pieces offer organic shapes andcurves. Many of the parts offer hollowed out sections. Some of these partsoffer very intricate centers as well. Some offer fully functional piecesstraight out of the machine! Ultimately, there are a ton of possibilities thatcome through the process known as 3D printing. What is so significant about being able to create modelswith hollowed out sections, intricate centers, organic curves, and variousshapes? Well, to answer that question, other forms of manufacturing can’t.Machining and milling processes can’t touch some of the things that 3D printingcan accomplish. Various models with detailed centers are entirely impossiblethrough machining or mold manufacturing. When a drill or saw can’t get insideof a part, it can’t be made! When a part is too intricate in the center, a moldcan’t be made. However, 3D printing can still create some of these parts. Detail levels can also be pretty ridiculous at some timesthrough 3D printing. Machining offers some high levels of detail in manyinstances, but maybe not to the level of 3D printing. What is so significantabout the detail? Well, some of the layers used throughout this manufacturingprocess are made in sections as small as 11 microns; that’s about a fourth ofthe diameter of a human hair. You can’t hardly even see that kind of detail witha naked eye! The detail levels allow for the creations of wax pieces which areused for casting jewelry at very high levels of detail. Just consider this –the levels of detail are a small fraction of a human hair! That offers some seriouslyhigh detail! Other factors also play into the capabilities of 3Dprinting. The variety of materials offered builds some serious credibility inmy opinion. Pretty much anything that currently exists in the manufacturingworld can be accessed through 3D printing. There is such an array of materialsto choose from. In fact, there are over 100 materials to choose from. Many aresomewhat traditional, such as stainless steel, nylon, and glass. Some however,are very synthetic. For example – Objet has worked to create a wide line of “man-made”materials, including pieces of various colors, chemical properties, heatproperties, and mechanical properties. In fact, one of the materials offeredsimulates rubber. When considering this form of manufacturing technology,there are quite a few factors which go into making a decision. Hopefully you’llconsider it due to the complex nature and various potential of 3D printing.Just think about this – if it can be designed on a computer, it can very likelybe made through 3D printing.