3D Printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a revolutionized manufacturing technology first introduced in the late 1980's. It is a process of producing a physical model layer by layer in accordance with the geometrical data derived from a 3D digital or CAD (computer-aided design) model.
Parts (3D objects) made by 3D Printing can be further applied to or post-processed by other technologies or processes to meet different needs and requirements. The use of different and new materials, on the other hand, is also expanding the possibilities of 3D Printing applications. Materials such as plastic, metal, plaster, food ingredients or even concrete can now be applied to 3D Printing. Rapid development in the 3D printing technology and manufacturing processes implies that the potential applications of 3D Printing are still expanding.
PolyU has introduced the rapid prototyping and 3D printing technology and facilities to its staff, researchers and students since 1990's. In the last decade, development and progress of 3D Printing are truly exciting. New technologies, materials, tools and equipment break down obstacles and barriers and open up new opportunities in all fields and industries. Unimaginable applications are emerging in every aspect, speeding up another wave of new technology advancement and revolution. The use of 3D Printing and the changes it brings to the manufacturing and the entire world is phenomenal.