Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing by Hod Lipson & Melba Kurman

fabricated book cover

If you haven’t heard about 3D printing yet, you clearly have been living in a cave and ignoring all the news. Go to Google Images RIGHT NOW and type in “3D printed objects” and look at all the cool stuff that’s been made with 3D printers. I’ll wait….

You back? SO COOL, right? Right.

I’ve been hearing about it a lot lately, but the concept of 3D printing was really hard to wrap my head around. And then I heard about this hot-off-the-presses book all about 3D printing, so obviously I had to read it right away. You know those replicators on Star Trek? That’s basically the future of 3D printing. And if the thought of having one of those in your house years from now doesn’t excite you, I don’t even know what you’re doing here.

Fabricated introduces the reader to the world of 3D printing, which is changing and advancing at a rapid pace. The book starts off with a “day in the life” scenario set decades from now and gives a glimpse of what life with a 3D printer in the house would look like. It then delves into the specifics of 3D printing – the technology, how it works, the different types of 3D printers, the current limitations of 3D printers, and more. Then it moves on to some of the issues surrounding 3D printing – trying to use different materials to print with, how they can be used in schools, how it’s currently affecting manufacturing and how it will continue to do so, the legal snags that will eventually happen, how to make 3D printing more green, and what the next phases of 3D printing should look like.

Ya’ll, this book is FASCINATING. And no fear –  it was completely readable and easy to understand, even for someone who has no background in technology or computer lingo. Personally, I found the more technical chapters to be the most interesting – the software and materials used, how 3D printers work and operate, how advances are being made in bioprinting (like printing living tissue and organs), and how 3D printers are currently being used, etc. That was all the stuff I really wanted to learn about to understand it better. The chapters about legal and ethical conundrums that are likely to arise were an added bonus and really thought-provoking, since it talked about things I hadn’t really considered before.

In the preface, the authors say this:

“One of the great things about 3D printing is that the field moves faster than the speed of light and technological advances take place in huge leaps and bounds. Yet, rapid innovation is a difficult topic to capture. Just as you figure out how to pin down an elusive and squirming new idea onto paper, it’s already out of date.”

Which basically means that they worked their ASSES off to get this book written and published ASAP, before the information became out of date. It just came out in February, and I can tell that it was rushed to get on the shelves because I noticed a few grammatical errors and typos. It didn’t bother me, because I actually really appreciate the rush. I like my non-fiction as up-to-date as possible, so that was a perk.

I’m really excited about 3D printing. It’s the coolest technology being advanced right now, and if I had lots o’ money just sitting around, I would totally invest in 3D printing companies and technology.

If you’re even a bit curious about this 3D printing thing, I highly recommend reading this book and doing so quickly while the information is still current!

Sarah Says: 4.5 stars

 

 

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5 comments

    1. It would be so amazing! Although the way they described it in the book, if we’re ever going to be able to 3D print food on command like in Star Trek, it will basically be some bland food pastes that can be constructed into what we want… it sounds really weird, lol.

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    1. Right??? 3D printing organs is looking promising though. I read a book called Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku and he predicted that within the next 100 years our life expectancy is going to go up a lot (like living to 120 to 150 on average) and that a big part of that would be being able to replace organs and things as needed. 3D printing seems like it’ll be making that a reality eventually. It’s so insane! And crazy cool.

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  1. This book sounds amazing…you’ve convinced me to find some cash/make an excuse to buy myself a copy! It’s all progressing so fast, I wonder where the tech will be in a year’s time?

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