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9 February 2015

3d Printing Technology

Chris Wyatt

Chris Wyatt

Senior Consultant

Since completion of his BA (Hons) in theatre studies from the University of Greenwich, Chris…

Not so long ago I spent a couple months doing my own research into the capabilities of 3D printing, its potential use for various applications and tried to map the potential growth over the coming years. For inspiration on the subject, I purchased the design of an object, had it printed and shipped from mainland Europe to my front door within the matter of a week.3d printing

That 3D printed object was a four-dimensional 120-cell Polytope, also known as a Hyperdodecahedron – the fifth out of six possible Polytopes. To the mathematician it is a four-dimensional ‘Hyperbolic Space’ object. Where in spherical geometry every point has a constant positive curvature, in hyperbolic geometry every point has a negative curvature – meaning that every point is a saddle point. To put it simply, think of this object as the opposite of a circle. And the point is…this objects complexities are what made it an excellent object of inspiration; to highlight the capabilities of 3D printing and the massive industrial shift that will soon affect the home-user as much as when computers entered the home, shifting its way from alternative into the mainstream consumer market as a process of design and production.

However, now that I’m actively working with image signal processing engineers and those with skills of interest to companies that are developing 3D printing technology, why is my inbox not inundated with related engineers and the newly founded start-ups seeking them? To my knowledge, there are a handful of companies out there pioneering this technology and only a select few companies based in the UK. Why is this? Are my expectations years ahead of the game or has the game changed? If you’re a solo engineer or company pioneering this technology, or simply someone with an opinion on the matter, I’d love to hear from you.  Please do email me.

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