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1. The 3D printer…
1) can print with ink on paper.
2) has got an accurate name.
3) prints quickly.
2. Describing the technique of 3D printing Dr Hunt stresses that…
1) it is not as complicated as it seems.
2) it’s too complex to explain in detail.
3) it is essential to know different techniques.
3. What does Dr Hunt say about the resin?
1) It is all the same.
2) It is a kind of ink.
3) Light causes it to change.
4. Dentists were mentioned to give an example of
1) something people don’t like.
2) a well-known use of resin.
3) an application of 3D printers.
5. What is said about the equipment that is needed to 3D print?
1) It is not very expensive.
2) It will soon be widely available.
3) All you need to do is take a photo.
6. Speaking about what items people print, Dr Hunt suggests that
1) the majority are for the medical field.
2) they are never ordinary items.
3) they are incredibly accurate.
7. Dr Hunt says that in the future 3D printers …
1) will change the way we shop.
2) will be used mostly in factories.
3) will be used to print homes.
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Presenter: Hello there, and welcome. With us this evening on “Technology of the Minute” we have a very special guest, Dr Josephine Hunt, who has been involved in the research and development of an exciting new technology, the 3D printer.
Speaker: Thank you, I’m delighted to be here.
Presenter: First of all, Dr Hunt, can you explain what a 3D printer does, in case some of our listeners don’t know?
Speaker: Of course. Well, a 3D printer does just what it sounds like it should do. It prints. But instead of printing letters with ink on paper, it prints layers of material, one after the other, usually a polymer resin, to form a three dimensional shape. It is a slow process; sometimes it takes hours.
Presenter: It sounds really complicated. Can you give us more detail? I must say, I’ve heard a lot about 3D printing but I’m having a hard time visualising just how it works.
Speaker: The truth is, it IS incredibly complicated. It is highly technical and there are a number of different techniques, so I’m not sure you really want too much detail. We could spend all day discussing the different ways create a 3D printed object. But I will give you an overview of the most common technique.
Presenter: Yes, we don’t want to end up more confused than we are now! So, we have this machine, and somehow it makes an object…
Speaker: First of all, the material that replaces the ink is photopolymer resin, which is basically something like liquid plastic. There are countless kinds of resin, and they are all slightly different. But they all come out of the printer as a liquid, and when they’re exposed to light, usually ultraviolet light, they become hard.
Presenter: Wait a minute, that sounds familiar. Is it the same material that dentists use to repair our teeth?
Speaker: Yes, that’s right. It’s the same thing. But don’t hate resin because it reminds you of the dentist! It’s a very useful material with a wide range of applications.
Presenter: That’s amazing. But I have a question. How does the printer know what to print?
Speaker: You need a 3D scanner and 3D modelling software to use with a 3D printer. At the moment, they’re a bit pricy, but we’re not far now from the time when these will be available on your smartphone. It can be as simple and affordable as taking a photo. Presenter: Wow. And what kind of things are being 3D printed? What do people do with this technology?
Speaker: One of the most amazing uses is in the field of medicine. Models of organs like hearts have already been printed, and they are so realistic that surgeons can use them to practice complicated surgeries. In the future, we could have 3D printed synthetic skin, bone, and even organs. On the other hand, other people print more ordinary items, including mobile phone cases and high-heeled shoes.
Presenter: It sounds like science fiction.
Speaker: It may sound like science fiction, but it’s not. It’s reality right now. It won’t be long until everyone owns their own 3D printer, and we will be downloading files, and printing in our own homes, rather than buying objects made in factories.