3D printing is a method for quickly and accurately producing models and parts directly from 3D digital data. Using additive processes, a 3D printer deposits material, one layer at a time, and can create intricate 3D physical forms that cannot be made any other way.
In April 2009 A1 Technologies sold the world’s very first low-cost commercial 3D printer. Now, following stringent R&D efforts, A1 offers its proprietary 3D printer, the Maxit, with key design and operational advantages specifically tailored for applications in education.
In industry, 3D Printing is also known by many other names, which include Rapid Prototyping, Additive Fabrication and Additive Manufacturing. 3D Printing is the term commonly used for low cost (under £10,000) technology. The two key aspects of 3D Printing are that it involves a layering process and that it is additive, not subtractive.
The additive nature of 3D printing means that there is very little waste of materials, making it a much ‘greener’ technology, as no plastic is wasted. Furthermore, the plastic used by A1’s Maxit 3D printer is PLA (Polylactic acid) which, being made from wood fibre, is fully biodegradable.