3D printing implications for STEM education

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© 2017 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. The driving force for the advancement in the popularity of 3D printing in the education market is that 3D printers have become more affordable to purchase commercially and even more so when constructed utilizing open-source hardware and when operated using open-source software. As predicted by Campbell et al. (2012), the future of additive manufacturing (AM) from the perspective of three key elements: applications, materials, and design is that as the primary patents expire medium cost, AM hardware developed will foster an increased market demand which in turn will accelerate the rate of entry-level suppliers into the market with new and improved materials. Commercially, a high risk aspect of the business is hardware improvements plus the software maintenance and development, which in an open-source environment is passed on to the open-source community that collectively strive to improve upon previous versions.

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Additive Manufacturing Handbook: Product Development for the Defense Industry