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I'm interested in 3D printing for making things for my research lab. The early chapters in this book are every enthusiastic but perhaps a little bit O.T.T. For instance the idea that we'll all be printing burgers and that this will remove the need for animals is a bit daft, to be perfectly frank. Likewise the idea that the poorest of the poor in Africa's murkier corners will whip out a 3D printer and build themselves a shelter is a bit loony. The later chapters on building a 3D printer were very helpful. So overall, a handy book for a noob like me but quite a lot of hot air in the earlier parts of the book.
The first half was an overview of the state of the art (when written, but I expected that with such fast moving technology) in 3D printing broadly. Unfortunately, it was written in a very stilted style that would not have passed a Freshman technical writing course. It used the "Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them," format, but badly. It went about four or five levels deep, but after the first pass through, mostly repeated what was covered in the overview, sometimes with the same words, no expansion. They used the same 8 or so examples over and over again. US Military developing deployable 3D printing capability, NASA printing structures using Lunar regolith, etc. The first time through was fine, but after the third or fourth time supposedly in more detail, but with no actual detail added, boring. And that from a working engineer who's eaten up deep technical matter most people find boring for 50+ years. Frankly, it seemed like the authors had 30-40 pages of real content they were instructed to stretch over 150 pages.
The second half of the book was a different story. It was a good, broad overview of selecting, acquiring, building, calibrating and first prints from a home Rep Rap printer (what I wanted from the book). Little unnecessary repetition, good descriptions of pros and cons of decisions you'll need to make along the way, including the software and hardware. Nothing you can't find somewhere on the internet, but all in one place and easy to review again if needed. And a pretty good framework to hang the added detail you can find on the internet. If you are more comfortable with books, probably worth the price, if you are really fluent in internet info finding and synthesis, not so much.
So, 1-2 stars for the first half (and last 20 pages), 4 stars for the portion on building a rep rap printer.
This book started out great, then declined in valuable information. I was not looking for a "how-to" build description, but more to understanding all that I can about the technical aspects of 3D printing. For the cost, it's a decent book. I had hoped for a little more out of it.
This book gives enough knowledge to start with your own 3d printer. It does not do more than that. Most information is already on the internet in the usual tutorials. If you want to understand more about the impact of 3d printing and a good understanding of the future and possible developments this book does not give much information. It aims mostly at extrusion printing (FDM) with pla, abs or pva filament. Recommended when you want to build or try a hobby printer , but not giving enough insight for professional applications, prototypers or choosing your technology from the more than 50 different technologies that exist in additive manufacturing
Generalities, and future predictions sums up this book, rated it OK. It's very dated and has nothing to do with any printer you're likely to purchase from Amazon. Been thru the whole book, hoping to get to a good chapter, or two that did not happen.
For those interested in building a RepRap kit printer it's probably worthwhile.