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How can augmented reality Enhance 3D Printing?

April 17, 2017

Enjoy the perks of 3D printing as it transforms your designs in solid objects right in front of your eyes!

Augmented reality and 3D printing is the name of two different technologies, but they are revolving around the same general concept. The combination of augmented reality and 3D printing is bridging the gap between physical world and digital world. 3D printing makes digital physical and augmented reality play a significant role in enhancing the physical world with digital overlays.

3D printing is widely discussed the phenomenon. In simple terms, we can say that 3D printing is the process of making digital file by using CAD (Computer Aided Design) or animated modeling software into a solid object in physical world. 3D printing have made it possible for you to transform your ideas from concept to creation. Many large companies are investing in this market and fueling to make the combination a major part of the development in business industry.

What is Augmented Reality?

Similarly, augmented reality superimpose computer generated content over a live camera view of the physical world. In simple terms, we can say that augmented reality is the positioning of computer generated elements in the real world 3D space. Games and novelty apps are some of the early examples of augmented reality. Potential uses and benefits of augmented reality are limitless.

The combination of augmented reality and 3D printing is one of the most significant innovation in augmented reality. A large number of tech players are fanatically investing in this technology and successfully developing their organizations. Facebook is a good example which is making a massive investment in augmented reality, Sony is working on glasses based on augmented reality known as Smart Eyeglass, and Disney is also bringing coloring books to life with the help of augmented reality.

How does it work?

Augmented reality has made it possible for CAD to show a design that exists solely inside of design software. Augmented reality has made it possible for you to see the design in the real world. You are required to use a device with a camera and the software will analyze and track the environment you are looking at. Sometimes special markers are required, but new development and advancement in technology have made the tracking marker less.

3D Printing, meet Augmented Reality

3D printing and augmented reality both technologies are rapidly revolutionizing the established industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and education. There is also a potential connection between 3D printing and augmented reality. A huge number of organizations are using augmented reality as a preview function of 3D printing. It is evident from the industrial practices that 3D printing has to speed up manufacturing and prototyping process and augmented reality is stimulated the modeling process before sending it to the 3D printer.

It is a cool feature of AR that you can see 3D printing in real time. This means you can see the complete object in the context without having to build anything. Now the maker community can make the use of AR technology for building high-quality 3D printing objects. For example, Ultimarker graphic is an app which you can install on your 3D printer. When you send your model to the 3D printer Ultimarker will place a complete preview of your model on your printer, and it will give you the idea about your final model. This excellent little app is just one example of combination between augmented reality and 3D printing.

A Large number of the organization are making the use of augmented reality in 3D printing and enhancing the 3D printing experience of the community. For example, HP allowed users to play with 3D images on mobile devices and use augmented reality to create 3D prints. Autodesk is teaming up with Microsoft to ingrain its Spark 3D platform into Windows 10. Moreover, small players of the industry are also showing their real ambitions to make the use of these two technologies to enhance the experience of 3D printing in future.


These two emerging technologies will continuously challenge the existing knowledge in future. What augmented reality is holding for the 3D printing and how it will change the designing, manufacturing, and distribution of objects is quite exciting.

3D printing will help you see the designs transform into solid objects right in front of your eyes. While seeing the objects in front of you, you can make changes to the designs easily, if required and also improve the prototype before launching the product in the market. It is a very good investment for companies manufacturing abundant objects as it will give them a chance to test their prototypes in their target market.