Scientists Hope to Build Parts for Spacecrafts as a Step Towards the Next Industrial Revolution

As 3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), is said to be entering the metal age, with scientists now hoping to build parts for jets and spacecraft, it is increasingly set to become the next industrial revolution.

Rapid Prototyping Journal, the world’s leading engineering journal covering this technology, has documented its evolution for nearly 20 years. It now offers a collection of eleven articles exploring the development of 3D printing and its applications to a number of industries.

3D printing is the process of creating a three dimensional solid object, of potentially any shape, from a digital model.  Used to recreate the damaged skull of King Richard III, it has captured the global headlines as the technology that looks set to change the way we think about industries such as medicine, archaeology, automotive and aerospace engineering.

In a recent editorial, Ian Campbell, editor of the Rapid Prototyping Journal, reminisces about his past 20 years in additive manufacturing research: “Direct production using AM seemed to be just a dream for the distant future. If someone had been able to give me a glimpse of the future to see the complex end-use parts being made today, they would have astounded me even more than they do today.”

The articles in this online collection have been specially selected to explain how 3D printing is being developed, and to demonstrate the numerous applications of 3D printing across a range of industries. For instance, they detail the restitution of a damaged medieval skull, the creation of customised medical implants and devices, the quick fabrication of scale models of ultrasound images, and the enhancement of students' learning with 3D printed wind-tunnel models.

The selection also includes an article published in the first ever issue of Rapid Prototyping Journal, entitled “Future potential of rapid prototyping and manufacturing around the world”, authored by Terry Wohlers who has since become one of the leading world experts in the field of 3D printing.

To appreciate the advancement of 3D printing, and the accuracy of Wohlers’s predictions, read the selection of articles in free online access until 30 November 2013 by visiting http://www.emeraldinsight.com/tk/3dprinting

Rapid Prototyping Journal, which celebrates its 20 year anniversary in 2014, is published by Emerald Group Publishing and focuses on 3D printing and related technologies, covering development in a manufacturing environment as well applications in other areas such as medicine and construction. The publication is indexed by Thomson Reuters (ISI), with an impact factor of 1.000.

For more information about Rapid Prototyping Journal, visit http://www.emeraldinsight.com/rpj.htm

About Emerald  

Emerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. The company manages a portfolio of more than 290 journals and over 2,000 books and book series volumes, and also provides an extensive range of online products and additional customer resources and services.

Emerald is both COUNTER 3 and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation.

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