3D Printing is a manufacturing process that creates a three dimensional object by incrementally adding material until the object is complete.
When OhmniLabs was founded, one of the main goals was to reinvent the traditional robotics development process. We wanted to build a hardware company that was more like a software company in terms of flexibility and iteration speed. By building our Ohmni bot in-house with 3D printers, we've established a scalable lean manufacturing process. This helps us to solve manufacturing problems as soon as they come up and helps us to keep the cost of Ohmni down.
Here are a few tech tidbits about 3D Printing you might not have known!
It’s been around since the 80s!
(source: 3D Printing Industry)
Many people would be surprised to learn that 3D Printing can be traced back all the way back to the 1980s! Back then, it was referred to as Rapid Prototyping Technology. The first patent for Rapid Prototyping Tech was filed in May 1980, by Dr. Kodama in Japan. Due to missed deadlines for patent paperwork, the application wasn’t filed. Fast forward to 1986, Charles Hull successfully patented the stereolithography apparatus (SLA). Stereolithography is one of the several ways to print in 3D (source: LiveScience). Through Hull’s SLA, liquid plastics would be converted in to solid objects.
You can buy 3D Printers off Amazon, too.
(source: 3D Insider)
Yes, 3D printers are not just for businesses or tech companies. They are becoming more and more available to regular consumers. While we don’t recommend buying a printer without doing research behind the processes of 3D Printing, they’re available on Amazon -- just in time for Amazon Prime Day! Prices vary, depending on the brand.
Printing in 3D is said to smell like waffles!
(source: ALA TechSource)
While waffles are delightful for the nose buds, there’s actually a scientific reason behind it. It only happens when using Polylactic Acid (PLA) when printing. It is the second most popular printing material when printing in 3D. It is a bioplastic, a biodegradable material that comes from renewable sources (source: ActiveSustainability) made from corn, beets, or potatoes. Because it is a bioplastic, when it is heated, it smells like waffles or syrup! It’s important to note that while there are no medical issues linked with the smell of heated PLA, the study of plastics in 3D printing is young.