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Have you ever wondered or even thought about how things around you are made or designed? Well, my case, i used to just use the things without any bother until i got to know about the 3D printers and realised that starting from simple things like cups, pens, shoes or even mineral water bottles are designed first and printed with these printers to see how they actually look like.

So, before the introduction of 3D printers, artists would first design concepts, make them manually using materials such as clay, and them make moulds for which the models were used in actual production. However, with the innovation in IT software design and modelling, 3 D printers have come to our rescue with a revolutionalised quick methods. We don’t have to struggle testing our prototypes/designs but rather we print them out and taste how the actual product will look like and its behaviours and characteristics.

I now believe, that with these 3D printers, Africa can get a break through in the manufacturing design and art technology, if we followed this approach to upgrade to this level. My prediction is that it can take us 50 years ahead of where we are, provided such printers are introduced in our technical or vocational schools, this can lead to start of home based industries that would spark industrial growth. Now shifting from personal anticipation and predictions, here are the different types of 3D printers, they range from very small desktop application to very big production printers.

The different types of printers are featured in different models below

Idea series printers

These types of printers come in three size with models named Mojo Desktop 3D Printer, uPrint SE 3D Printer, and uPrint SE Plus 3D Printer. Each printer makes models of different dimensions and are from small to the biggest sizes. There is no need for studying anything in just theory, you have the design you print it out and studying becomes fun at last.

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Example of output

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Idea series  printers are also in different sizes ranging from desktop printers to heavy duty printers. The materials they use are same as the idea series printers except that they provide quite a wide range of material ranging from rubber like material to hard and brittle plastic and print different dimensions. The types of the printers available range from Object 24 printer, object pro, Object eden 260/260V, object eden 350/350V, object 500/500v series, object 350 connex, Object 500 connex, object 1000, Dimension 1200 e series,

Production Series printers

The Stratasys 3D Production Series brings world-class prototyping, tooling and digital manufacturing to your designers and engineers. The Fortus 250mc is the most compact and affordable machine, offering advanced 3D manufacturing capabilities in an office-friendly footprint. Fortus 900mc 3D Production Systems offer the widest range of Fused Deposition Modeling materials, including high performance thermoplastics, for amazingly durable, accurate parts as large as 914 x 610 x 914 mm (36 x 24 x 36 in.) with predictable mechanical, chemical and thermal properties.

This type of printers are also in various types and modes and use different material to produce your designs proto types. The types include; Fortus 250mc, Fortus 360 mic, Fortus 400 mc, and fortus 900mc the largest 3D printer. Details about this technology can be viewed at www.stratasys.com and interest in purchasing one of these you may contact —– magazine.

Application.

These printers can be used by 3D artsists to print any 3D model designed, Archtects to print the building models designed, manufacturers of both metal and plastic items ranging from household to industrial equipment, researchers in the medical and other scientific fields, vehicle manufactures, shoe manufacturers, among many others sections of production.

By Kakiga Raymond, Contributor.