3D printing adds a whole new dimension to printing—literally—and has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing, just for starters. We tell you what 3D printing is, what it can do, and how you can get involved with this exciting new technology.
The first working 3D printer, designed by Charles W. (Chuck) Hull of 3D Systems Corp., used the stereolithography technique. (photo circa 1984; used by permission)
A row of MakerBot Thing-O-Matics at Maker Faire. Though MakerBot has a large presence at Maker Faire (the Faire and the company are otherwise unrelated, the "Maker" in their names indicating they’re part of the DIY movement), many other 3D printers are also represented at the show.