Things You Need To Know About Open-Source 3D Printing

by Virginia Wilbur

The 3D printing industry has proven to be the fastest-growing sector in the world. But, the growth in this industry is significantly influenced by the fact that new advancements keep being introduced. Contrary to common belief, the industry has been in existence for quite long, probably more than a century. However, current applications in the industry can be dated to the early 2000s.

For years now, 3D Printing technology has been applied in different sectors like healthcare. In addition to the many applications, users have moved from preferring fully-assembled 3D printers to opting to build their 3D printing machines. An example of a 3D printer than you can make from scratch is the Open source 3D printer. In this post, we explore the phenomenon, which is an open-source 3D printer in depth.

What is an open-source 3D printer?

In open-source 3D printing, the hardware, software, and firmware are available under an open-source license. This means that if you choose to change the design of the printer by customizing it according to your needs, your warranty does not get affected. The development of this type of 3D printing machine aims at finding solutions to common issues in the sector.

This is because users have the freedom to alter their devices in attempts to find these solutions and better their printing experience. Using an open-source 3D printer is less costly and time-consuming. This is because you can customize your experience by making the printer work faster or suit your needs. Therefore, less time is spent trying to solve or avoid issues like warping. Also, this technology helps to promote innovation in all angles.

Open-source 3D printing is a relatively recent phenomenon in the 3D printing industry. However, the phenomenon keeps growing in popularity as time goes by. The technology has lead to the invention of applied science, and medical solutions as practitioners in the industry have embraced innovation.

The opposite of an open-source 3D printer (closed source/ proprietary 3D printer)

The opposite of Open source 3D printing technology is proprietary 3D printing. A closed source 3D printer, therefore, is one for which the designs of the hardware, firmware, and software are all readily available under a closed source license. This means that the software used does not enable access to source code for broad spread development. It falls under the desktop printing technology.

If you choose to buy a proprietary 3D printer, you are aggreging to such terms like voiding your warranty in case any changes are made to the printer. However, owning a closed source 3D printer also means that you have to work with the design provided by the manufacturer lest you spend more money. Using these types of printers is expensive and time-consuming.  


Some of the applications of open-source 3D printing include finding a solution for saving the coral reefs, dentistry, biological printing, and nanotechnology. The first application of the technology was in the RepRap project. This project used open designs that led to a lot of success in achieving its goal. This success has led to the current commercialization of technology.

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