Conductive Plastics Provide Exciting Possibilities for 3D Printing

3D printing has become a trending form of printing all over the world. Barcelona launched a 3D printing cafe named Fab Cafe that has attracted many consumers and tourists. Many believe it won’t be long before you will be able to get some 3D printing done at your local Starbucks. The concept of being able to print the actual object, rather than the image of the object, is evidence of the constant evolution of technology. As this particular technology advances, its capabilities seem endless.

The materials used for printing are what makes the ultimate difference in the quality of the 3D objects being produced. Plastic filaments, also known as thermoplastics, are the main material used for 3D printing. The two main thermoplastics used are ABS and PLA. Thermoplastics become easy to mold under an intense heat and revert back to a solid state after they have cooled down. Some of the most popular 3D objects printed are vases, jewelry, dishware, toys, fashion accessories and decorative art designs.

Three engineer students from Sanford California recently introduced 3D printing with the Rabbit Proto. The printing is being done via a RepRap dual extruder 3D printer. The Rabbit Proto releases conductive ink onto standard plastic filaments and enables printing of real gadgets. Conductive plastics enable 3D objects to perform electrical functions. Game controllers and objects with light sensors have already been produced. Will we soon be able to print a smartphone or tablet? While that may be a far stretch, these type of technological developments make it all seem possible.

Before you begin producing 3D objects you may want to brush up on the basics by taking a course. There are many 3D printing courses available online. Engage in online forums and get tips from your peers. Study tutorials and conduct routine research to keep yourself updated on the new trends of the market.

Most of all, have fun with it! Get creative. Literally bring to life some of your dormant ideas. Technology is definitely unleashing tools that aid in productivity and contribute to creativity. You can pick up a low cost RepRap printer and filaments are readily accessible and ready to purchase online.