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Marques Green Leslie Walcott ENC 1102 4 April 2014 3-D Printing’s Impact on Engineering 3-D printing is a relatively new technology that first took roots in the 1980’s when Chuck Hull of 3D systems Corp created the first working printer. 3-D Printing technology has had many uses; but its primary use was for prototyping. Now, due to advances in the technology, it not only has usefulness in prototyping but, also in producing final goods. 3-D printing uses CAD, Computer-Aided Design, software to create the object. Some other names 3-D printing may be referred by are additive manufacturing, and rapid prototyping. The name additive manufacturing comes from the process in which 3-D printing creates objects. 3-D printers create objects through sequential layering of nanoparticles. Which is opposite of the method known as subtractive manufacturing which uses machines to cut out from materials. Currently 3-D printers have limitations, such as certain materials, living organic tissue, and circuits. But the potential capabilities are limitless. (Lipson, 2014; Banks, 2013; Thilmany, 2002) This technology has already impacted many areas of society today in areas like medicine and engineering. Engineers and engineering companies have already taken the leap into 3-D printing, and are currently manufacturing and distributing 3-D printed goods.

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3-D printing has proven to be advantageous when compared to other methods of manufacturing and prototyping due to its low cost, and limitless customizability. (Banks, 2013; Lipson, 2014; Fuller et al, 2002; Hoske, 2013; Kesner, 2011) With that being said, some may argue that 3-D printing could lead to the second industrial revolution, compared to the assembly line (Lipson, 2013; Reiss, 2013;). Advantages In the medical engineering field, the need for easy customization is apparent; all patients are different (Banks 2013). One common item printed are hearing aids, which aren’t very complex. But, people’s ear canals are shaped differently; which brings about the need for easy customization (Banks 2013). Along with implants, there is talk of research for surgical advantages that could lead to advances in the practice. The use of 3-D printing to create “phantom” bodies with specific complications in order to give practicing surgeons r eal life scenarios (Banks 2013). Moreover, 3-D printing could provide an easier method of distribution for pharmaceutical drugs, and printing organs to repair or replace existing organs (Shubert, et al, 2014). Engineers go through countless prototypes during their various projects. Therefore, they need to be able to create these prototypes fast, while implementing any changes. According to Mark Hoske’s report on James Tool, an engineering company, engineering quoting time has reduced significantly (Hoske 2013). Optimizing a product has become less expensive and faster because 3-D printing provides a quick way to redesign and manufacture a prototype (Kesner, Howe, 2011; Fuller, et al, 2002).

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“Second Industrial Revolution” Hod Lipson makes the point that it is not more difficult, expensive, or time consuming to make complex or simple objects. Eventually the only limitation will be our own imaginations (Lipson 2014). Old methods of manufacturing like injection molding, casting, and machining will be obsolete once 3-D printing reaches its peak (Hoske, 2013; Lipson, 2014; Reiss 2013). The reasons for this is because as the technology has developed it’s become more affordable, more materials are being tested, and a more efficient method that allows for easy customization. Research Gap All these sources tell of the benefits and advantages of 3-D printing, and how influential it actually is, and will become. 3-D printing has led to advances in many fields that involve any type of innovation, or manufacturing. Medicine, and engineering purposes on the top of the list of course. So, my research gap is to create an awareness of this pivotal technology to young students, who may or may not be looking into studies in the field of engineering. The idea is to expose them at a younger age in order to better prepare them to fully utilize the technology during their studies, and careers. By exposing students at a younger age, they will be able to experience a part of engineering that is not necessarily a required skill now, but by the time they enter their field of study it will be something all aspiring engineers will need to learn. This exposure will give the student some foreshadowing of the career they will pursue. I noticed that at Cornell University they have implemented 3-D printing by replicating Franz Reuleaux’s original kinematic mechanisms. This allows the students have a close hands on learning experience. I instantly thought, “Why should students have to wait till college to be

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introduced to something so pivotal?” I wish to create a high school elective course that exposes students to the phenomenon known as 3-D printing. This class’s primary objective would be to teach students the basics on 3-D printing. While providing small scale engineering applications.

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Banks, Jim “Adding Value in Additive Manufacturing” IEEE Pulse 4.6 (2013): 22-26. IEEEXplore. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. Fuller, Sawyer B., Eric J. Wilhelm, and Joseph M. Jacobson. “Ink-jet Printed Nanoparticle Microelectromechanical Systems.” Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems. 11.1 (2002) 54-60. Science Citation Index. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. Hoske, Mark. “Additive Manufacturing Used for Hydraulic Workholding” Plant Engineering 67.8 (2013): 1 p. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. Kesner, Samuel, and Robert Howe. “Design Principles for Rapid Prototyping Force Sensors Using 3-D Printing.” (2011): 866-870. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. Lipson, Hod. “This Will Change Everything.” New Scientist. 211.2823 (2011) p. 20. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. Lipson, Hod “Design in the age of 3-D Printing.” Mechanical Engineering. 134.10 (2012) 30-35. Business Source Premier. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. Reiss, David. “The future of 3-D technology.” Mechanical Engineering. 135.2 (2013) 16-17. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. Schubert, Carl, Larry A. Donoso, and Mark C Van Langeveld. “Innovations in 3-D Printing.” British Journal of Ophthalmology. 98.2 (2014) 159-161. Science Citation Index. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

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Thilmany, Jean. “History in 3-D.” Mechanical Engineering. 134.4 (2012) 44-46. Business Source Premier. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

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