Beyond 3D Printing: The New Dimensions of Additive Fabrication

Nov. 1, 2014

Steven J. Keating


An invited book chapter published in Designing for Emerging Technologies and an open access chapter published here.

Additive fabrication, often referred to as 3D printing, is the construction of objects by adding material. This stands in contrast to subtractive methods, which involve removing material by means of milling or cutting. Although additive fabrication and 3D printing are thought of as synonymous, additive fabrication encompasses a far broader range of construction, and new dimensions are on the horizon, inspiring innovation across scales and applications. For instance, can you print a full-scale building? How can we structurally engineer color and alter on the nanoscale? If trees grow additively, can biology be designed for fabrication?

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