We recently decided that we at Corporate Business Systems would take a step into the future by offering 3D printers from Makerbot and purchasing a Makerbot Replicator 2. The concept of 3D printing is known by many, but still only experienced by a few as they are not a widespread technology yet. 3D Printing, more formally known as “additive manufacturing,” creates three-dimensional objects by layering different materials from the bottom up. 3D printers require a digital 3D model created on computer software to create each model one layer at a time as a tangible item.

The materials used in 3D printing are expanding more and more; some are even being developed to create edible food like chocolates, pasta, and many more that are being explored by leading companies in the food industry. The most common material being used is plastic because of its malleability and cost-effectiveness. The Makerbot Replicator 2 that we have in the Corporate Business Systems showroom uses spools of plastic “thread” to create any item we give it out of many layers of plastic (such as the CBS-themed iPhone case featured below).

As of right now, a growing list of commercial 3D printers can be purchased at varying prices, but the most common uses for them are by artists, designers, engineers, and architects. Schools and medical facilities also purchase them for educational purposes. In fact, as of this week, using an MRI scan of an infant’s structurally unsound heart and an “experimental version of the Makerbot Replicator 2,” doctors at a New York hospital created a physical replica of the heart. It allowed doctors time to study it at length to formulate a surgery strategy and repair the baby’s heart with a single operation.

3D printing is increasingly relevant in the processes of modern manufacturing, medical treatments, and even at-home use. 3D printers could become as common as the inkjet printer in the modern household, given the average price goes down and the practical applications for people increase. The ability to replicate a seemingly infinite number of helpful items could be the next household revolution, as it has already become a small industrial revolution. But, for now its uses will continue to expand in multiple industries, and provide all new capabilities that have never been so easily accessible or even possible.

We currently offer a number of Makerbot products on our Office Technology Products page. If you or your company are interested in purchasing a 3D printer, please call us at 1-800-370-9984 to contact one of our account executives about what we have available.

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