Badge #7 | Cartography

A 3D printer constructing a model of a human figure as a technician observers. Getty images.

A 3D printer constructing a model of a human figure as a technician observers. Getty images.

A piece of candy in a geometric design made by the ChefJet 3D printer. Wried.

A piece of candy in a geometric design made by the ChefJet 3D printer. Wired.

3D printing is a burgeoning new industry in the technology sector. This three-dimensional mapping technology allows real objects to be “printed” in various materials from a digital blueprint, giving the user freedom to create virtually whatever they want — provided they have the resources and skill. Scientists and engineers have successfully printed everything from vegetarian chicken nuggets to grafting material for cancer patients. Though the average cost of a 3D printer is still $1000 on average and thus out of the price range of the average consumer, it is only a matter of time before this versatile new technology spreads to the everyday sector. This white paper will discuss 3D printing in more depth and examine the development, pros, and cons of this quickly-growing technology.

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