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Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1118350638
ISBN-10: 1118350634
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Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing + 3D Printing: The Next Industrial Revolution + 3D Printing: The Next Technology Gold Rush - Future Factories and How to Capitalize on Distributed Manufacturing
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Editorial Reviews


"Lucid and understandable to the layman [...] not one of those popular books by a self-styled "expert" rushed to press to become a quick bestseller - [a] serious and fascinating volume that points the way to the future."> 

 --Jerusalem Post, April 13 , 2014

"It's most definitely a go-to book for anyone with kids looking for a comprehensive look of 3DP technology and where's it's heading."
-- James Floyd Kelly, Geekdad

"Astonishing, and a page turner even with all the legal and technical details and speculation."
 -- Library Picks

"What makes Fabricated different is that it seeks to explore the implications of this work, not just cheerlead for it.  Lipson and Kurman survey the field, travelling to England to interview the creator of the open-source RepRap and to Utah to investigate work on CAD for the human body."
 --  ZDNet UK Book Reviews

"Fabricated is an excellent book to give to a friend, family member or co-worker who has heard of 3D printing, but may not know many details of how it works or what it can do. But it's also an interesting read for people who keep up to date on technology."
 -- Dave Peterson, Geekbeat TV 

The authors ... have done their homework... the book is an easy, interesting read that serves as both primer and, perhaps, prognostication.
 -- ScienceNews Bookshelf

"Roboticist Hod Lipson and technology writer Melba Kurman bring great experience and intelligence to introducing the thirty-year history of 3D printing to general audiences...  But many of the strengths and pleasures of the book derive from speculation about 3D printing in the near, middle, and distant futures."
 -- Matt Griffin, Make Magazine

"This book is a must-read for those in manufacturing and for those that want to know what the technology trend of the future will be."
 -- Hub Pages: Books, Literature, and Writing

'It's well-written, and with chapters like "Digital cuisine", "Ownership, safety and new legal frontiers" and "A factory in the classroom", the book holds much promise. I put it like that because I haven't actually read it yet! I've literally just started on it, and thought I would take the opportunity to give you the heads-up on it. (, June 2013)

'This engaging book takes the reader on a journey that explores how 3D printing will impact our lives. Fabricated is ideal if you re interested in integrating 3D printing into your work, but are not experts in design software.' (Design Talks, August 2013)

From the Author

People frequently ask us "how can I predict how 3D printing technologies will affect me?  My job? The things I care about or do for fun?"  While interviewing experts for Fabricated, we discovered that diverse users had some things in common, a set of core reasons why 3D printing enabled them to expand the limits of what they do.  We wrote up these recurring observations and called them the Ten Principles of 3D Printing.

The Ten Principles of 3D Printing give us a roadmap into the future and explain why 3D printing will disrupt manufacturing and product design. A disruptive technology shrinks key barriers of time, cost or skill.   Each Principle represents one core (and disruptive) characteristic of 3D printing that removes or reduces a core barrier of time, cost or skill (or all three).      

Ten Principles of 3D Printing
Principle one: Manufacturing complexity is free. On a 3D printer, it costs as much to make a simple cube as it does an elaborate and complex object of the same material.  This is disruptive since in traditional mass manufacturing, complex geometries (elaborate shapes) cost more to produce in terms of time and skill.  Free complexity will disrupt traditional pricing models and change how we calculate the cost of manufacturing things.

Principle two: Variety is free.
 Like a human artisan, a single 3D printer can fabricate many different shapes.  The intelligence lies in the computer, not in a machinist who must re-tool the way the machine is set up.  Free variety reduces the cost of customization and gives a single entrepreneur the ability to create many different types of 3D printed products on a single printer. 

Principle three: No assembly required. A 3D printer can print a hinge, a bicycle chain or even a nested set of Russian Dolls in a single "print job," no assembly required.  Traditional manufacturing machines make parts which must be assembled.  The more parts a product contains, the longer it takes to put together, the longer the supply chain and the more expensive it becomes to make. Reduced part count saves on assembly, reduces inventory and shortens supply chains.

Principle four: Zero lead time. A 3D printer can print on demand, when an object is needed. Lead time, the time lapsed between a product's conception and its actual manufacture, is a core competitive differentiator.  3D printed, on-the-spot manufacturing will liberate companies from stockpiling physical inventory.  Product design will accelerate; custom, on-demand products made in direct response to customer demand will become financially feasible.  

Principle five: Unlimited design space. The 3D printing process, since it builds objects layer by layer, is capable of making physical shapes that were once impossible to make.  It's simple to 3D print hollow objects, interlocked objects, precise and complex internal structures.  With a 3D printer, we can create objects that once only nature could make, opening up vast new design possibilities.

Principle six: Zero skill manufacturing. Traditional manufacturing machines still demand that a skilled expert to adjust and calibrate them. A 3D printer gets most of its guidance from the design file. Once the design file is created, the printer can swing into action immediately. Unskilled manufacturing opens up new business models and could offer new modes of production for people in remote environments.

Principle seven: Compact, portable manufacturing. A 3D printer has a small footprint.  A 3D printer is also compact, as the size of the object being printed can be nearly as large as the printer. In contrast, an injection molding machine can only make objects significantly smaller than itself. Even better, a 3D printer, if the "print head" can swing freely, can fabricate objects even larger than itself such as structures or furniture. 

Principle eight: Less waste by-product. 3D printing is a precise process since objects are created in layers, not by carving away raw material or molding molten material into solid shapes. Machining metal is highly wasteful as an estimated 90 percent of the original metal gets ground off and ends up on the factory floor. Molding is a precise, low-waste manufacturing process but can only make simple shapes.

Principle nine: Infinite shades of materials. As 3D printers in the future gain the capacity to print with different types of raw materials in a single print job, we will witness the emergence of a new class of materials.  Multi-material 3D printers can blend and combine different raw materials in precise blends.  Digitally designed and precisely printed blends of materials will offer us a large and mostly unexplored palette of novel materials that have unusual properties or useful types of behaviors, for example wearable electronics or living tissue.

Principle ten: Precise physical replication. The 3D printing process relies on digital instructions.   The ability of the 3D printer to precisely carry out digital instructions will bring the design freedom and malleability of the digital world to the physical world.  Like digital music and media, physical objects will be scanned into digital form and then edited, copied or re-designed.  

See all Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118350634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118350638
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Becky Scott VINE VOICE on June 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm not sure what I expected from this book. I guess I thought it would be a combination of history of 3D printing, along with what's currently happening and maybe even some forward-thinking ideas about where the industry is headed. I guess that's a little tough to do in print, because the industry is changing so rapidly. However, I wanted the book to be more thorough on a lot of things. For instance, the author glossed over the various printer manufacturers, really only mentioning one of them in any detail. And the same goes for printing services, where he left out several players in Europe, where 3D printing is fairly popular (and way more well-known than here in the states). There are some 3D printing companies that have been around for 20-30 years and there was barely even a whisper about them. So it made me skeptical of the research involved in this book, because so many things were glossed over or not mentioned at all.

I suppose if you're not familiar AT ALL with 3D printing, it gives an overview. But for the people who already know something about the industry and want a bit more (or a lot more), it feels like it's still lacking. Maybe that wasn't the intent of the book, but it is what I was hoping to find when I picked it up.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I selected this book because the company I work for is starting to purchase 3D printers and experiment with them. But I actually came out of it slightly disappointed for one reason: the book just does not do a good enough job of describing the technologies...which is odd considering that the author(s) are both technical folks and Lipson at least, actually has done an extensive amount of work on/with/ and advancing 3D printing in general.

There is a chapter on the types of 3D printing and some of the details are scattered throughout the book, but I feel it doesn't do a very good job of really comparing and contrasting the technologies, particularly in helping to understand the real pros and cons of each type compared against one another. While there is some discussion of the materials, safety, heat, and resolution achieved by the different types, the discussion is not consistent and not good enough (in my opinion) to help a reader really make much in the way of intelligent decisions as to what would be the best for a need they have in mind. Frankly the wikipedia articles on 3D printing and on the individual types do a better job of this.

That said, the book is a pretty good overview of some of the current work being done in 3D printing from the more traditional - complex plastic and metal parts - to some of the "edges" being explored - organs, batteries, food. There's also mention of some of the major players in terms of websites and companies contributing to the technology and selling 3D printers. Additionally, there's a decent examination of the issues that arise with intellectual property, environmental issues, and democratization/decentralization of "makerism" and manufacturing.

But there's also a lot of speculation and wishful thinking.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. L Lamendola VINE VOICE on March 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book was a pleasure to read. It's informative on several levels, but also ignites the imagination.

Over the past many years, various professional magazines have featured articles on what is popularly referred to as 3D printing. Over the past few years, various consumer publications have featured articles on it. The Mindconnection eNewsletter has mentioned it in the Good News column as a counterforce to the economically devastating misconduct of our misrepresentatives in CONgress. And let's not forget how the movie industry used the concept in such hits as the Terminator series.

I've read a wide range of facts and opinions on this manufacturing method, but until this book those have been in article format. Articles are great, and they constitute the vast majority of my reading. But they are necessarily much more limited in scope than books are; you can cover quite a bit more in 60,000 words than in 1,500 (unless you're the typical politician, in which case you essentially say nothing but spew thousands of words).

This book has two authors, and I suppose both are knowledgeable. As the Preface said, there wasn't any delineation as to who wrote what. However, it seems to read with one voice. It's clear that the authors communicated and that a good editor was involved in this book project (though some copyediting errors did crop up).

It's also clear that a whole lotta fact checkin' was goin' on. I didn't find any errors of fact, and for a review of mine that is really saying something. The references are extensive, and most of those look like interesting reading.

I was pleased to see two intelligently written reviews posted prior to mine.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Let's Compare Options Preptorial TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a breathtaking journey through one of the hottest, yet least known and appreciated new technologies: digital, compact and small scale fabrication and 3D printing. The "professional" reviews of this book fail to communicate that this book, and the technologies it sketches, are FAR from just 3D printing, and have major implications for the "what's next?" question on everyone's lips today! They are literally a next step between huge assembly lines and the Starship Enterprise product - "materializing" machines!

There are already VENDING MACHINES in China that can fabricate not only injection molded plastic products, but products with working parts, knives, coins, and much more. Granted, this book is more about printing on plastic and other less technical applications in the current generation of "real" machines, but the ramifications of the evolution from job shop to factory back to job shop are astonishing, from patent and IP questions to things like marketing, vending and distribution. Books on demand on a whole new scale-- Amazon take note! In the West, you might have seen the little "dog tag" vending machines that can create a tag for your dog with her name on it while you wait. That automated aluminum engraving application is a PALE SHADOW of what's shown in this volume, both in materials and technologies!

I'm CTO at a digital animation studio (shader joes dot com) so you know where I'm coming from, and of course this family of technologies has MAJOR implications for the "hero" and modeling/ model - sample building industry, and digital artists in general. Not just a consumer technology, the "back room" implications for studios are HUGE.
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