Thursday, 3 February 2011

3D Printing

A recent online BBC article about the emergence of low cost 3D printing (or rapid prototyping) discussed how inexpensive machines are being used by hobbyists and (very) small scale manufacturers to 'print' physical objects in plastic.

The RapMan model is sold in kit form for around £1000. It is clear that Design and Technology departments in schools are starting to buy these machines too. The alternative, commercial machines are prohibitively expensive for most schools.
RapMan 3D Printer form BitsFromBytes
Image from BitsFromBytes website

These machines offer a fantastic opportunity to realise physical objects made from their 3D cad designs. There are many websites springing up to compliment this low-cost area of manufacturing, many of which have great examples to get started on and lesson ideas.

I've put list of links to CADCAM resources, websites and free software here - CADCAM
Nottingham e-Learning Community is part of Nottingham City Council, Children and Adults