I agree with @josephkim626, can you think of anything that we as humans build that really works differently? The only thing I can think of that doesn’t really get created in roughly 2D layers are some living things! I don’t think we’re going to get to creating life from scratch any time soon, if ever, but that is certainly a different thread.
That aside, creating non-2D layers has been the subject of some work and they have done it. The issue is creating a tool path that doesn’t get in the way of itself, which is why cartesian bots are still the most popular and best refined, because it’s relatively easy to keep from hitting your previous work with the extruder, so it is the easiest tool path to create. At best right now is a way to print convex and concave surfaces. 6DOF (degrees of freedom) extruders have been designed, but a practical use has not been found to spur much prototyping as far as I’ve seen.
[quote=“gadget2020, post:1, topic:16067”]
it seems to me that there are more solutions to fix the symptoms rather than looking at the cause.
[/quote] I think you are mainly referring to things dealing with gravity, like supports, when you say this, but I’m not entirely sure, please correct me. If that is what you are talking about, SLA and SLS printers do a fairly good job of negating the effects of gravity, with SLS being the best. The only problem with SLS is that it’s still under patent, and quite expensive for the machines right now.
Please don’t take this as disparaging, because that’s not my intent; I really want to help. I’ve always tried to teach that the best solutions, are amazing because of the way they work with the limitations, not how they avoid them. When you spend some time looking through Youmagine and Thingiverse, you begin to see how amazing some of the designs really are.
I think the same goes for some of the other CNC fabrication methods that are becoming popular now as well, like CNC routers and laser cutters. Anyway, just keep designing, technology will catch up eventually!