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There’s been a lot of buzz around three-dimensional printers, amazing devices that are taking the DIY community by storm. But what exactly is a 3D printer and where are they sold? Unlike inkjet or laser printers that print with ink on paper, 3D printers apply melted plastic that cools and hardens. The plastic is applied in layers on a flat surface, creating the 3D effect. 3D printers can be purchased for around $10,000, but why spend that money when it can be built for a fraction of the cost?

Patrick Hood-Daniel, co-author of Apress’s latest book "Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer" explains, “3D printers do not require a large number of tools, rocket science, or advanced skills to build. These machines can be built by anyone comfortable using common power tools, such as a table saw, circular saw, and drill press.”

"Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer" guides readers through the process of building a 3D printer step by step. Once the machine is built, the 3D printer can be connected to a computer and can print out designs using free and available software shared by others on the Internet. It can also be used to construct custom configurations.

About "Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer"
"Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer" is a gateway to the exciting world of personal fabrication. Aimed at creative people: crafters, carpenters, electronics hobbyists, and others comfortable working with their hands, "Printing in Plastic" leads readers through building a 3D printer based on blueprints downloaded from the author’s website. The “printer” or personal fabricator is capable of creating small parts and other objects from drops of molten plastic. Example projects get readers and enthusiasts started in designing and fabricating objects from plastic.

About the Authors
Patrick Hood-Daniel is a hobbyist. In his day job, he is an urban designer trained in architecture and city planning at the University of Miami and University of California. But in his spare time, Patrick puts his skills from a previous career as a computer programmer to good use in building and operating computer numerical controlled (CNC) fabrication machines. He is the creative force behind www.buildyourcnc.com and is well-known for designing CNC machines that can be built at low cost by normal people, without any special or expensive tools.

James Floyd Kelly is a professional writer from Atlanta, Georgia. He has written numerous books on multiple subjects, including LEGO robotics, open source software, and building your own CNC machine. He is the editor-in-chief of the number one MINDSTORMS NXT blog, The NXT Step (www.thenxtstep.com), where he is joined by fellow NXT experts who share their knowledge and designs with other robot fans around the world.

Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer
By Patrick Hood-Daniel and James Floyd Kelly
ISBN13: 978-1-4302-3443-2
350 pp.
Published June 3, 2011
Print Book Price: $39.99
eBook Price: $27.99