By Yara Del Rio-Dominguez |Staff Writer|
3-D printing is rapidly growing among many businesses throughout California, many of which include the medical device industry and aerospace companies.
CSUSB professor Kurt Collins said, “Many companies now are opting to using software such as Sketchup and Autopad to prototype their design for a cheaper price.”
Many of these companies have gotten rid of their draft boards and converted using 3-D printers to produce their own blueprints first hand.
The process of making a 3-D object is somewhat simple, the printer extrudes a specific type of plastic, and it has to be a substrate that will melt making a solid model of any virtually an shape from a digital model.
Companies are investing in 3-D printers to make rapid prototyping as it costs much less to print out a prototype in 3-D using plastic than sending a prototype out and having it made out of metal at a higher cost.
3-D printers have expanded from the professional industry to the homes of graphic designers for the low price of $1,200.
Student Ariana Pickens said, “It’s pretty cool to be able to have your own 3-D printer, you can have one in any color and make whatever you want from iPhone cases to cups and bowls for your kitchen.”
The website cubify.com states 3-D printers customers can buy and sell back finished prototypes as well as templates for others to use.
Student Arturo Llamas said, “As a graphic designer 3-D printers help me express myself, having access to a 3-D printer here on campus puts me over the edge after I graduate because not many students have access to these kinds of printers as do we here on campus.”
3-D printers are not recommended to the average person, due to the expensive price and/or lack of knowledge of using the 3-D printer.
“An average person who doesn’t know what potential you can use a 3-D printer, will not see it as a necessity to own,” said Llamas.
CSUSB student Murad Kakish said, “If I had the money and knew how to use it I would definitely buy one to make my own household items I wouldn’t have to waste money on things like silverware.”
There is a limitless amount of things to print with a 3-D printer, in most recent news many people raised concern for the potential for 3-D printing weaponry.
“The amount of things you can do with this kind of printer is limitless, there are videos on YouTube of a 3-D printed assault rifle actually shooting rounds,” said Kakish.
CNN reporter Laura Smith-Spark said, “Instructions for printing a 3-D handgun were shared online and were downloaded more than 100,000 times before they were removed.”
There is still debate on the restrictions the public should have or should not have on what they can produce and print.