Had my first experience with 3D printing recently. You may already know but 3D printing is projected to transform our lives in the relative near future. The technology uses CAD files to create a 3D model out of a polymer which is probably not earth shattering to you. What is amazing it where it's going from here. http://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/#applications If you follow the link I posted you'll see that 3D printers are now becoming available at the consumer level for anywhere from $200-2500. The possibilities are amazing from edible food, to replacement parts, glass, coffee mugs, toys, sunglasses, and who knows where else from here. In construction and design, we are constantly challenged to "visualize" things before building. Companies like Nike and Ford can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars working up prototypes to test things in advance of production with the same goal of avoiding potential mistakes. This photo above is a single color 3D rendering of a Million dollar project that the architect presented to us at a meeting recently. I'm told this took 24 hours to print with his printer and it gave us the ability to view the home in a way that I've never seen before. This model is pretty tiny, but the potential power of this is if we can foresee potential issues that could save tens of thousands of dollars- then our efficiency increases and costly mistakes are avoided. In this case we noticed an upstairs flat patio area over a living space that we may have caught collectively in design but it was just so much more readily apparent here. Flat space over air conditioned space isn't forbidden, just poses risks for future water leaks. At a minimum, this alerts the consumer and builder to focus on construction techniques for challenges like a flat roof. We could also remove the roof and peek inside the floor plan which was nice. Keep your eyes open for this technology as it advances because you are really beginning to hear more and more about it.
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