3D Technology Transforms the Printing Process

By KBJR News 1

March 12, 2013 Updated Mar 12, 2013 at 7:11 PM CDT


New advancements in 3D technology are taking the printing process to the next level.

The 3D printing process duplicates an object using a printing machine designed to regenerate a computer model.

"From that computer model we can create actual physical models," says Steven Kosset, Program Director at Northen Lights Technology Center.

The model is similar to an architectural sketch.
The duplicated products are made from a variety of materials.

"We have nylons, ABS plastic, proxy resins, we try and select the appropriate material for each project we're working on," adds Steven.

Despite it's innovative nature, few have heard about 3D printing. A solid works class at The University of Minnesota Duluth sheds insight on the groundbreaking technology.

"We modeled stuff on the computer and they drew it on the 3D printer," says Joe Rizzardi, a mechanical engineering major at UMD.

There are few limits to what items can be duplicated once a computer model is created, from a football helmet, to a radio.

"You can make pretty much anything with it," says Rizzardi.

The NRRI is using the technology to help business and entrepreneurs make prototypes.

"It's very valuable it saves a lot of time, we can create prototypes for them and they can test out their ideas quickly and find out if it needs improvement or if they can go right to manufacturing," Kosset informs.

Advancements in 3D printing are steadily progressing. According to some field experts, the future looks bright and the possibilities look endless.

Kosset hopes the new technology will spark economic development by creating new products in the Duluth area.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware