Can you imagine printing your dinner? 3D printing technology might soon have the power to do just that—and so much more.
The idea of 3D printing technology started in 1993 with a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The first object they ever printed was pretty boring; it was just a tiny cup. Had it not been for that small cup, however, the world today could potentially become completely different.
3D printing is a unique process. First, a very thin powder is spread over a built-up area. Then, a nozzle sprays a binding agent determined by a computer that makes each layer stick and harden. This process is repeated over and over again until the design is complete.
Since 1993, 3D printing has changed a lot. Now, a 3D printer can do more than just make tiny plastic cups. Today, for example, 3D printers create objects out of metal and other materials.
Everyday objects aren't the only objects these machines can print. Currently, scientists are improving a 3D printer that can print food. There is also a type of printing called bioprinting, which is used to produce biological materials such as human stem cells. This could ultimately lead to a new generation of farmers that could print 3D crops—just imagine the impact this could have on the global economy.
Whatever the kind of 3D printing, this technology certainly has the power to change lives. 3D printing has come a long way but still has far to go; who knows what this incredible technology could lead to in the future.