What is 3D printing 3D printing which is the other name for additive manufacturing is one of those various processes which are used to create a three-dimensional object. As in the methodology of 3D printing, additive processes are used, where they lay down successive layers of materials under computer control, these objects can take shape of anything that you get in geometry. These are produced either from a 3D model or any other electronic data source. In a way, we can say that a 3D printer is the one of the latest models of industrial robot.
How it Works3D printing is a process where materials are sequentially deposited onto a powder bed along with inkjet printer heads. Recently the term has grown wider involving more number of techniques like extrusion and even sintering based processes.
Without a live demonstration, 3-D printing sounds like a science miracle. But if we observe closely, the technology is not that complicated either. It is indeed a revolutionary step from the stage where one had to spray toner on paper for laying down layers of things like plastic resin till the layers would all add up to an object. So, enabling a printing machine to produce an object of any shape one wants, right there 3-D printing is really a milestone in technological advancements.
The Areas It Has so Far CoveredThe 3-D printing Technology has so far advanced through a barely coordinated group of three areas: the printers and their printing methods, the designated software for designing and printing stuff, and the materials which are required for printing. But the usage of 3D printing is rapidly progressing and it has already taken over the following industry sectors. Where some have installed this technology very much in their manufacturing methodology, others are indicative of imbibing it very soon.
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Usage of 3-D printing: Present and Future
Automotive and Industrial Manufacturing Here multiple components are consolidated into a single complex component. The 3D printing technology here is mostly used for creation of production tooling, by producing spare parts and components. Then it is put to the product development cycle for a faster speed and also for rapid prototyping, testing the shapes and fitting of those components.
AerospaceIn aerospace 3D printing comes to help for creating complex geometrical components which cannot be done through traditional manufacturing. Through this technology now Controlling stiffness, density and other material properties of an object has become far more easier as it can also grade or evaluate properties through examining a part of it. The best part of 3D printing is that it makes the components lighter in weight.
Health Care IndustryIn health-care industry 3D Printing helps in planning better for surgeries using its high-precision anatomical models that is based on the CT scan or MRI reports. It is also being used for developing customized orthopedic implants and even prosthetics. 3-D printed cadavers are taken for conducting medical training. It can be used for Bioprint with the live tissues for testing during any drug development
Retail Market3D printing has now covered a wide range of retail market helping the industry produce high quality products including jewellery, home decorative products, custom toys, games, and even more. It is done through printing the spare parts for automatic or home repairs.
SportsThe technology of 3D printing is used in the sports industry too for manufacturing complex geometrical shapes which cannot be done through the traditional manufacturing process. It also makes customized protective gears for a better safety measure and more comfort giving wear as it can produce custom sized spike plates for soccer shoes which are based on bio-mechanical data. It also improves the look and appearance of the sport wears as it is capable of printing out multi-coloured materials and several prototype for testing the products.
Performance 3D printing has a key role in the industries for improving their performance characteristics, like autonomous operation, ease of use, repetitive actions, speed, resolution and reliability.
Incorporating Multiple MaterialsThe feature of accepting and incorporate multiple range of materials and mixing them while taking a print of a single object has increased the popularity and credibility of 3d Printing Technology.
Finished products 3D Printing technology is capable of printing fully functional active systems that usurps multiple modules like batteries, electronics, embedded sensors, micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS), and many more.
The 3D PrintersToday the 3-D printers are generally focused at two levels of a spectrum which are: high cost–high capability and low cost–low capability. The High-end printers are made to target the enterprises of 3-D printing service bureaus while the low-end printers which are also associated with open source RepRap3 printers, target the individual consumers.
The last year has introduced a new class of printers with many new amazing features. The printers from Formlabs and FSL3D are high resolution printers in a relatively smaller size. It uses stereo-lithography technology and have cut short the price only at a few thousand dollars. There are Printers from MarkForged that print materials using carbon fibre composites through a desktop form costing lesser than $5,000. The CubeJet Printers from 3D Systems are below $5,000, which is capable of printing objects in multiple colours bringing down the cost of professional features and making them affordable for common small scale industrialists.
The Winding ThoughtsTill now the traditional printing technology and the manufacturing units have been serving many purposes leaving those options which contained complex geometrical shaped objects. The 3D printing technology has brought these two units together and has changed the face of production houses equipping them with a of cutting edge technology solution pushing them to take a big leap towards development that appears to be a dream-come-true for all. Do you agree?
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