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Advanced 3D printing is already boosting analytical efficiency – but shouldn’t the wider community be embracing its transformative potential?
Victoria Samanidou |
As many of you will already know, three-dimensional (3D) printing is a broad term that describes a production process that combines computer aided design (CAD) with innovative techniques and diverse starting materials to creates objects of various shapes and geometries. Most 3D printing uses layer-by-layer deposition of suitable materials – including organic polymers, ceramics, and metals – to create the final product, which is why the term “additive manufacturing” is also used to describe the same process.
First introduced in the 1980s, 3D printing is relatively new technology, but it has already been successfully adopted in various scientific fields. Medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, biology and chemistry have all taken advantage of its versatile manufacturing capability. And with 35 years of further advances and applications under its belt, it has reached a stage where it is mature enough to become a mainstream manufacturing process in many more areas.
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