Book Review – 3D Druck / Rapid Prototyping

Despite all the current buzz there is still surprisingly little literature, especially introductory literature, on the topic of 3D printing and 3D printing technology. One notable exception is the book 3D-Druck/Rapid Prototyping: Eine Zukunftstechnologie – kompakt erklärt (X.media.press) by German author Petra Fastermann. Fastermann sees 3D printing as a key technology and her 180 page book is dedicated to introducing readers to the current state and future opportunities of 3D printing and rapid prototyping.

Book Content

The first two chapters give a brief overview of the book and some history of the evolution of 3D printing or rapid prototyping more generally. Chapter three of 3D – Druck/Rapid Prototpyping gives a concise overview of 3D printing technologies, the basic file formats, the 3D printing process and 3D modeling softwares without going to unnecessary length.

In chapter four, the author goes into the democratization of 3D printing by taking a more detailed look at things like 3D printing services, the “Maker” Movement, FabLabs, the RepRap printers and 3D scanning, all services and products which bring 3D making closer to the average consumer.

Chapter five is filled with practical examples of how 3D printing is being applied today: the use cases shown range from jewelery and product design to 3D printing for model making.

The author dedicated chapter six to looking at 3D printing will evolve and how it will shape and impact various industries and our lives in the future.

As the book progresses it become more technical and chapter eight introduces fifteen different rapid prototyping technologies ranging from Selective Laser Sintering to Fused Deposition Modeling.

In chapter nine, Fastermann presents various rapid prototyping machines and 3D printers for home and small scale commercial use. The chapters ends with a handy table summarizing the pros and cons of the different prototyping technologies based on their cost, degree of precision, surface finish and other factors.

Chapter ten concludes with a listing of mostly German and and US-based manufacturers of rapid prototyping equipment and 3D printers.

 

Conclusion

3D – Druck/Rapid Prototpyping is a good entry level book for anyone interested in learning more about 3D printing. The reader is taking on a comprehensive tour of the current state of 3D printing industry, 3D printing technologies, applications, equipment & materials as well as a glimpse of things to come.

The author manages to convey the, sometimes complex, concepts behind 3D printing in laymen’s terms. Therefore the book is well suited for 3D printing enthusiasts who want to further their knowledge.

However, any interested buyer should be aware that the book does touch on many subjects without necessarily delving into the details of any of these topics. In my opinion, the book therefore falls somewhat short on its ambition (according to the book cover) to help the user in choosing the right CAD program and 3D printer.

If you are looking for a hands-on book though there is other literature that you may want to consider. That being said, 3D – Druck/Rapid Prototpyping is one of the most comprehensive introductions on 3D printing that I have come across.

Our rating: 7/10
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