12V Actuators and 3D Printing

3D Printing is Blowing Our Minds

3D printing has been around for a while, but it’s really starting to show its potential now. Like 2D printers, the machines take advantage of track linear actuators in order to achieve some astounding results. Warning, this stuff may paste your brain to the wall when you read it.

The History of 3D Printing

Way back in the 80s, the only thing 3D were those red and green picture books that came with a pair of cardboard glasses. At least, they were the only 3D thing that was widely available and affordable. Mr. Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corp was working on a 3D and successfully achieved a design in 1984.

If you weren’t in a field that required a model for your work, like architecture, you probably didn’t even know that these things existed. Since the dawn of the 21st century, these machines have come down in price substantially, and it there are many fields that take advantage of them.

How Actuators Fit In

If you were to look inside your boring, out-of-date 2D printer, you’ll notice there’s a track actuator that gets pulled back and forth across the page when it prints. This is how your printer gets the ink where it needs to go. 3D printers work under the same principle. A track actuator is pulled exactly where it needs to go and put the material in the right spot.


Maybe you don’t understand how incredible this technology is. Imagine waking up in the morning, pouring a cup of coffee and dropping it on the ground. The glass smashes and coffee gets everywhere. Instead of cursing and swearing, you clean up the mess, walk over to your 3D printer and PRINT another cup. Did you lose your shoes? There are companies printing shoes right now. Items are being printed that previously would have cost thousands of dollars to create. There are companies that are printing jewellery – even major fashion divas are printing dresses.

There’s no limit to the number of things that can be printed with a 3D printer, and as the technology comes down in cost, it’s going to be an incredible game changer for manufacturers who once had to produce raw materials, form them, cut them and other processes that use expensive machinery. We are truly near the apex of something that has the potential to redefine completely the way we interact with and look at the world.

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