Past, Present, and Future of 3D Printing
There are many necessary steps required in order to create a superior product. Based on some initial (or existing) design, you first need to evaluate the physical characteristics of the system. Once some level of understanding of the system has been obtained, it should then be possible to refine and optimize the design based on some reasonable choice of a figure of merit for a good design. The final stage is to prototype the design, which is where 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) comes in. In a previous blog post, I detailed how you can 3D print your COMSOL model by exporting the underlying geometry or mesh as an STL file. This is the most basic form of 3D printing, so the question arises, how did we arrive at this stage and what does the future hold?