The Impact of 3D Printers on the Field of Industrial Design

1140 Words Feb 4th, 2018 5 Pages
Programs such as Autocad, Solidworks, and Sketchup, allow the creation of complex models and aid in producing files which 3D printers operate with. Within the past several years the pricing models of computer aided design, or CAD, software as a whole has changed in a way which lets students to operate these programs non-commercially for little to no cost. Autodesk, the maker of AutoCAD offers three year licenses to the educational versions of their software to students for free. Solidworks, produced by Dassault Systems sells a 12 month license to students for $150, a program which typically costs on the lower end of $4,000. Sketchup the third of these, owned by Trimble, offers a non-expiring noncommercial license for free and charges $590 for their commercial version. By offering pricing that makes their products available to the student and the novice they allow experimentation and accelerated growth in industry. 3D printers use a technique known as additive manufacturing which could be seen as a parallel to subtractive manufacturing. Both systems start with a computer generated model and are transferred to an external device that operates on an X Y Z axis system. In simple terms printing is traditionally done by stacking thousands of thin layers on top of each other until the object is completed. While…

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