Video walkthrough of popular 3D printing process
When talking about 3D printing on an industrial scale, the technology behind it all is usually a technique known as Laser Sintering.
This refers to a process where a fine powder is zapped by precision lasers, causing the material to fuse at the desired location. This is then repeated layer by layer to build the three dimensional form.
Some of you may already be familiar with Laser Sintering. It is this very process that is used for 3d items from the Ponoko Personal Factory, and indeed Laser Sintering is one of the more widely used methods for pretty much everyone who doesn’t have a Makerbot.
If the above video walkthrough by David Bourell of UT Texas gets you excited, you may enjoy reading more about laser sintering in this early Ponoko blog post.