“One of the reasons you do 3D printing is you don’t have to set up a machine for machine parts and buy all the tools. Instead, you have the computer-aided design, push a button and it prints out,” said Tester, who called the process quicker and more accurate than traditional manufacturing systems.
Earlier three-dimensional printers used a powder substance to print multiple layers. Today’s most popular systems extrude a thin bead of polymer onto layers that are vertically built up, creating everything from building models, machine components and body parts.
During the past five years NAU’s innovation capacities grew with the purchase of NAU’s 3D printers, a portable coordinate measuring machine and a computer numerical control machine which makes complex parts. The technology was paid for in part by the Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery and the state’s technology, research and initiative funds.
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