Engineers and designers have been using 3D printing to create prototypes for many years, but falling technology costs are making it increasing accessible to other people.
3D objects are created by sending a digital file or scan to a printer which then builds the item layer by layer – a process know as “additive manufacturing”.
The range of objects the technology can manufacture is rapidly expanding – in the medical sector it is being used for dental work, while the fashion industry is experimenting with it to produce clothing.
Rory Cellan-Jones investigates how an increasing affordability in 3D-printing technology could change the way items are manufactured.
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