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Publisher's Summary

The use of 3-D printing - digitally controlled additive manufacturing - is growing rapidly. Consumer models of 3-D printers allow people to fabricate small plastic objects, from cabinet knobs to wedding cake toppers. Industrial uses are becoming widespread, as businesses use the technology to fabricate prototypes, spare parts, custom-fitted prosthetics, and other plastic or metal items, often at lower cost and with greater efficiency than standard manufacturing. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, John Jordan offers an accessible introduction to 3-D printing.  

Jordan outlines the stages of 3-D printing, from idea to software model to a printable file that slices the planned object into printable layers to the finished object itself. He describes additive technologies, consumer 3-D printing in homes and schools, mass customization, and industrial uses. He considers the possible unintended consequences of 3-D printing on jobs, as companies scramble to find employees with an uncommon skill set; on business models and supply chains, as manufacturing is decentralized; and on patent law, as machines can be programmed to copy protected property. Finally, Jordan looks at new and emerging uses, including bioprinting, building construction, and micromachines.

©2018 Massachusetts Intsitute of Technology (P)2019 Gildan Media, LLC
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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Five hours of naive questions but no answers

This is not a book that teaches you very much about 3D printing. This is an unorganized book that spends 3 hours trying desperately to convince the reader that 3D will deliver on its previously unfulfilled promises. It then spends 2 hours asking open-ended questions about 3D printing without providing answers to these questions. There is only about 15 minutes of material dedicated to technical aspects of 3D printing. I also found the narrator not very engaging.

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Surprisingly insightful

While not a page turner, I found this book surprisingly insightful and concise into the current state and fundamental dynamic challenges of 3-D printing. Highly recommend it.