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New guide explores the potential of 3D printing

3D Printing for Dummies provides a real sense of exploration into this new technology, says 3D World technical editor Rob Redman.

This may be an odd volume to review here - it isn't training or entertainment - but 3D Printing For Dummies (opens in new tab) is a handy book that delves into the potential of this new technology.

It starts off with a look at the history of additive manufacturing and then goes on to the currently available options, including the multitude of methods and materials. More interestingly the authors have spent some time researching and sharing as yet commercially unseen materials and various scales of device, such as a large gantry-based extruder that could print a building in concrete.

3D Printing For Dummies is a handy book that delves into the potential of this new technology

3D Printing For Dummies is a handy book that delves into the potential of this new technology

A large section of the book is dedicated to teaching you how to get started building and using a 3D printer of your own, using the open source RepRap method. If you are on a budget, or have an interest in the engineering side of 3D printing, then this will certainly be of interest to you.

Other areas explain how to take advantage of technology while raising awareness of copyright issues and preventing misuse, or using patent information. However, it’s the sense of what’s yet to come that makes this book most interesting. Although it’s a bit dry in places, you do get a real sense of exploration and the feeling that things are about to change.

This article originally appeared in 3D World (opens in new tab) issue 182 - on sale now (opens in new tab)!

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Rob Redman is the editor of 3D World and ImagineFX magazines and has a background in animation, visual effects, and photography. As a 3D artist he created the mothership in the Webby winning Plot Device and was animator on the follow-up; Order up. He has created training for Cinema 4D and Blackmagic Design Fusion artists. He's been a published product and food photographer since the age of 15. As well as being a multi-instrumentalist, Rob is also an avid beard grower.