3D printing is a fascinating new technology and an exploding new market. The process involved is pretty basic actually. Heat up some plastic, and sort of like that Play-Doh Fun Factory you were so fond of as a kid, you extrude the melted plastic out to create objects of magnificence -- because you built it yourself...
It all started back in 2007 when the first RepRap
machine was built. The idea behind RepRap was to design a machine that could build complex parts in three dimensions using extruded molten plastic and that machine could also "self-replicate" or build a copy of itself.
Since then 3D printers of all types have emerged from the community, so we decided to reach out to a few of the more prominent names in 3D printing and do our usual round-up two step